Golden Globes 2024: Why this yr’s awards present is on its finest habits


When the 81st Golden Globes arrive on Sunday, January 7, it might look rather a lot just like the award present you keep in mind: casual, mildly erratic, with caustic self-roasts and a few nominees that trigger a number of spit takes.

However beneath its tipsy exterior, rather a lot has modified for the present. It has a brand new proprietor, a brand new community (CBS), a brand new host in comic Jo Koy, new voting necessities, and crucially, greater than triple the variety of voting members.

Most significantly, after barely surviving a watershed scandal that almost introduced an finish to our favourite quirky awards night time, the Golden Globes have rather a lot to show about what sort of awards present they wish to turn into sooner or later.

What does that imply for the present? Primarily that, regardless of a return to relative normalcy — Barbenheimer and Succession lead this yr’s nominations — nobody is totally certain what the brand new Golden Globes might be.

A yr of firsts

This yr’s Golden Globes are poised to be a recent begin on a number of fronts. Among the many yr’s nods are almost 30 first-time nominees, together with business veterans like Chris Rock and Trevor Noah and newcomers like Finnish actress Alma Pöysti, nominated for Greatest Actress for her flip within the rom-dramedy Fallen Leaves.

The normal — and generally complicated — cut up between genres has additionally gotten a shake-up, with the addition of two new classes for TV standup comedy efficiency and cinematic and field workplace achievement. (Although you may assume the latter class is a strictly Billboard-style award based mostly on metrics, it’s not totally goal; the worthwhile however much-maligned conservative rallying level Sound of Freedom wasn’t on the listing.)

Koy will seemingly additionally deliver a special tone to the function of host. The Globes traditionally bask in self-mockery, with hosts typically taking purpose at their visitors and your complete Hollywood equipment. In its previous life, the manufacturing hardly ever feared courting controversy and daring to offend. This time, nevertheless, producers have vowed to maintain issues relentlessly optimistic and to maintain the occasion vibes going above all else. Koy has declared the night “a celebration,” not only for the Globes however for an business that’s battled its method again, first from a world pandemic after which probably the most intense business strikes in latest reminiscence.

Whether or not they can pull the occasion off, although, particularly given the strain the occasion is beneath, might be simpler mentioned than executed.

What occurred to the outdated Golden Globes once more?

Among the many pantheon of Hollywood awards reveals, the Golden Globes have all the time felt a bit just like the boozy cousin dwelling within the basement of the Oscars. Careening from controversy to controversy, the Globes are normally saved, definitely not by their style, however by their quirks, attendees’ irreverence, and the excessive probability of not less than one drunken acceptance speech because of the ceremony’s open bar.

Lately, nevertheless, not even soused Emma Thompson has been capable of save them. The 2021 Globes appeared to sink beneath the burden of their growing irrelevance. Simply how irrelevant turned clear in a main months-long scandal over longstanding corruption and entrenched racism within the Globes’ organizing physique, the Hollywood International Press Affiliation (HFPA).

Final yr, the HFPA lastly got here to an finish — and with it, presumably, the a long time of scandal that tainted the awards. As an alternative, the Globes’ longstanding producer, Dick Clark Productions, took over the present with the aim of turning issues round for the beleaguered awards.

The HFPA was traditionally a small, choose, and personal physique of round 90 individuals, all of whom have been speculated to be leisure journalists. For many years, the business had chafed over the sentiment that this tiny, secretive membership used its unearned privilege — unearned as a result of who the heck even have been these individuals? — to garner entry to Hollywood’s elite. In alternate, the HFPA grew infamous for nominating, not based mostly on inventive benefit, however based mostly on whichever advertising and marketing marketing campaign wooed voters the toughest.

And due to the notion that the Globes can affect the Oscars, woo they did. Because the Academy has over 10,000 voting members, the logic held, it was simpler to immediately affect 90 individuals to provide your film consideration for the Globes after which hope that momentum carried by way of to Oscar night time. At varied factors up to now, the Oscars have tried to avoid this entice by chopping off voting earlier than the Globes ceremony happens. In the meantime, the Globes have generally modified their schedule to be nearer to the Oscars, presumably to maintain the tag-team impression (and thus their relevance) alive.

All that modified in 2021 when, beneath growing scrutiny from the business, an investigation by the Los Angeles Instances discovered that, along with its lengthy and well-documented historical past of alleged corruption, the group was allegedly rife with sexism and systemic racism: None of its 87 members was Black. Not solely that, however the HFPA hadn’t had a Black member in not less than 20 years.

After so a few years of resentment towards the HFPA, the business backlash after this revelation was so fierce that the HFPA collapsed. First, the awards present fell aside, with celebrities refusing to attend or current awards and longtime community NBC refusing to air the ceremony. After the group promised to develop and alter, for a quick second issues seemed up. The Globes have been acquired by Eldridge Industries, a enterprise administration agency co-founded and run by billionaire sports activities investor Todd Boehly, with the preliminary aim of creating a brand new personal agency to manage the HFPA and run the Globes. However despite the fact that the 2023 Globes have been a relative success, viewership was abysmal at a mean of simply 6.3 million, NBC declined to resume its longstanding partnership with the awards, and regardless of its promise to alter, the HFPA continued to flounder.

The last loss of life knell for the HFPA got here in June 2023. As a substitute of making an impartial firm to supervise the awards, Eldridge bought the Globes to a subsidiary, the Globes’ longtime manufacturing associate, Dick Clark Productions (DCP). The sale went by way of with the supply that DCP would fully dissolve the 80-year-old press affiliation and switch the Globes right into a for-profit enterprise.

Will all that change affect the awards? Sure and no!

Dick Clark Productions is maybe finest recognized for producing the annual New Yr’s Eve reside celebration in Instances Sq., however it’s additionally been producing the Golden Globes because the ’80s. Named after the late widespread occasion host, DCP has an extended resume of awards reveals beneath its belt, in addition to actuality reveals like So You Suppose You Can Dance.

Due to DCP’s longstanding manufacturing of the Globes, its acquisition of the present shouldn’t make a lot of a distinction within the total aesthetic and format of this yr’s ceremony. The voting membership, nevertheless, has undergone a much-needed overhaul. Eligibility necessities have expanded and membership has tripled to 300 members. The fundamental premise of membership — it’s important to be a journalist writing for a media outlet exterior of the US — stays the identical.

Already, the nominations really feel much less out of step with the tradition than they’ve in years previous — much less inconsistent with fewer head-turning and baffling nominees. Whereas there are some snubs within the lineup, many of the decisions make sense. The frontrunners, together with Barbie, Oppenheimer, and Succession, are all mainstream important favorites, and to date, predictions for who will take dwelling the appearing prizes appear to align squarely with the remainder of the important institution.

Nonetheless, if there’s one factor the Globes have taught us, it’s that there’s all the time room for the surprising. In spite of everything, it’s not fairly clear that the unusual, co-dependent relationship that when existed between the voters and the business has totally ended. Add to that the recent prospects afforded by this yr’s clean slate and the percentages are good that not less than one or two surprising upsets might effectively be on the menu.

However then, these record-scratch moments are why we love the Globes: Even once they’re serving us a quizzical trainwreck, we simply can’t look away.


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