Golden Globes have always been a reverend honor for actors and film personalities in the American film industry and around the globe. The 79th annual award show has already rolled out its list of nominees this year, but contrary to popular anticipation of the event, stars this year are unusually silent about the nominations.
Celebrities have been calling out awards shows for a long time now, pointing at the lack of diversity in nominations, in the band of judges, and also the infamous trend of gifts that judges receive amidst the nominations and the awards. Hence, the public was already skeptical about how the celebrities would react to the nominations being revealed and what greeted them was a deafening silence.
It has been more than a day since the nods have rolled out, but the industry is silent while the HFPA still battles the accusations of diversity-lacking membership of the judging board, and some other unethical practices. The organization responsible for the Golden Globes did take a few steps to ensure more people of color were added to its ranks, and gifts for the board were banned, and yet it is shocking to see the celebs have not talked about the nominations yet.
Pose co-creator Steven Canals reacted to the show's nomination with an excited tweet but soon followed up with the issues that stars have been raising about the organization for some time now. “This affirmation is bittersweet,” Canals wrote after getting 3 nominations. “They’ll likely be the last of our recognition for the final season. And it comes from an organization that hasn’t always been inclusive of the folks centered on our show.”
He continued the thread, writing, “Hoping these nominations mean the HFPA is making an intentional effort to address the criticism they’ve received in the recent past, and we’ll continue to see acknowledgment and recognition of all the incredible work being produced, by BIPOC & LGBTQ+ people.”
In fact, when many outlets contacted the actors and the personalities related to the show, many answered with "no comments." The minimal posts that acknowledged the nominations only included a small celebratory nod towards the outstanding actors and stars without any usual fanfare that comes along with the nominations. Hence, most posts only talk about the talent of the people that brought in the nominations instead of thanking the Golden Globes organization itself.
Crazy Rich Asians’ Chu posted a celebratory message for his co-stars, and the same is true for "Wicked," "Raya and The Last Dragon," and "Genius: Aretha." Netflix, on the other hand, is totally silent and has revealed that it will be boycotting HFPA. The streaming service only saluted Critics Choice nominations despite films "The Power of Dog" and "Belfast" leading the nominations on various fronts.
As people generally steer clear of posting elaborate excited tweets and posts about the Golden Globe nominations, there is a lack-luster appreciation of the coveted awards. It would be interesting to see how the industry actually reacts when the winners are called. Also, it is important to mention that more than 100 PR firms have stated that they will not appear for HFPA interviews and conferences.
This is not the first time Golden Globes is facing a major celebrity backlash. In January 2018, stars had descended on the red carpet of the awards event in black outfits, calling out attention to the Times Up movement. Earlier this year, Meher Tatna, the former HFPA president, had revealed to Variety that the organization backing up Golden Globes did not have a single black person in its ranks and has not had one since 2002. It is shocking to see that the 87-member board is so short on racial inclusion.
As a result, this year, eight of the categories earlier this year had only white actors as the nominees, and even the most critically well-acclaimed cinemas work such as I May Destroy You and Da 5 Bloods failed to make a mark. In an attempt to call out the injustice, director Olivia Wilde had said, “I support and congratulate all the nominees, but the HFPA needs to change in meaningful ways. Cosmetic fixes are not enough.”
Chris Hemsworth also stood with his fellow black actors saying, "Hollywood Foreign Press Association: Not a Single Black Member Out of 87." "The complete exclusion of Black women and Black people in general from the entire membership of the HFPA which votes for The Golden Globes is unacceptable,” said Amber Tamblyn as she added her voice to the movement.
Continuing, she said, “We call on one of our country’s biggest and brightest award show ceremonies to ensure the future of the Golden Globes’ leadership represents the content, culture, and creative work of women of ALL kinds, not just white women, and of Black voices in general, both as nominees and as members instrumental in the nominating process. A cosmetic fix just isn’t enough. The world is watching.”
A massive flood of celebrity voices consisting of Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones, Courtney Kemp, Ellen Barkin, Mark Duplass, Tom Verica, Busy Phillips, Laura Dern, Judd Apatow, America Ferrera, Jurnee Smollett, and Dakota Johnson, and more greeted the problematic nominations. Remarkably, SAG-AFTRA, an organization that supports Hollywood's acting talent, also spoke out against HFPA.
“SAG-AFTRA is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow creative industry guilds and unions, industry allies, and all inclusion advocates in calling on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to establish a more inclusive membership that truly reflects the extraordinary diversity and variety of the global media industry they purport to represent,” the organization stated.