Will (And Should) The Golden Globes Be Saved? Here's What We Know

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and their crown jewel event, the Golden Globes, have had a rough few years. First came the explosive (but, frankly, not all that surprising) exposé published by The Los Angeles Times in February of 2021, which shined a light on rampant malpractice within the organization's exclusive and somewhat incestuous voting body. Comprised of less than 90 total voting members in the international journalist community, the HFPA was accused of a widespread "culture of corruption" that carefully dictated a shockingly homogenous membership while more diverse applicants were denied entry into the prestigious club. There were also allegations of taking bribes from studios through wildly exorbitant press junkets and a plethora of free publicity material, and longstanding accusations of neglecting to nominate the most deserving films in favor of the same, largely white award-bait productions. This year's Golden Globes ceremony was abruptly dropped by NBC pending the implementation of much-needed reform among the HFPA.

Beset by controversy and scandal for quite a few years now, the HFPA is now set to receive its most significant shake-up yet.

According to Variety, the Golden Globe Awards will no longer stand as an offshoot of the HFPA itself. As announced by the membership, a vote was recently held to approve the investment firm Eldridge Industries' ownership of the organization under the auspices of interim CEO Todd Boehly. As HFPA president Helen Hoehne announced in a statement:

"We have taken a decisive step forward to transform ourselves and adapt to this increasingly competitive economic landscape for both award shows and the journalism marketplace ... We are excited to move forward with a mandate to ensure we continue our support for increasing diversity in all areas and maintaining our life-changing charitable and philanthropic efforts."

So what (if anything) does this mean?

The biggest takeaway from this news is that, from now on, the Golden Globe Awards will be considered and managed as a non-profit. Next on the docket for Eldridge is organizing a new private company, under which will fall all intellectual property rights for the awards show and "be empowered to oversee the professionalization and modernization of the Golden Globe Awards." Most notably, however, this restructuring will result in the long-overdue expansion of the pool of voters in order to "increase the size and diversity of the available voters for the annual awards."

The HFPA previously announced top-to-bottom changes with regards to the diversity of their voting body, the amount of gifts members are allowed to accept from award-hopeful studios, payments members are allowed to receive from the organization, and the introduction of diversity training. Obviously, it goes without saying that this only served as a start to making amends, with today's news only further emphasizing the organization's long road ahead to enacting institutional reform.

Careful to note that "Boehly was not part of the review, recommendation, or approval process," this nonetheless gives the CEO quite a bit of power since he already owns MRC Live and Alternative, which Variety notes produces the Golden Globes show, as well. It remains to be seen whether this development will actually result in meaningful and actionable change, but the HFPA is striking an optimistic tone. To conclude her statement, Hoehne added:

"This review process was comprehensive, deliberate, and thoughtful to ensure fairness and accuracy. Per our bylaws, the decision ultimately rested with our membership, who voted on the proposal. As we look forward to celebrating our 80th-anniversary event in January 2023, we are incredibly excited about this new era for our Association."