NBC to pull Golden Globes in 2022 over concerns of ethics and diversity



FILE – Signage promoting the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards and NBC appears in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Jan. 5, 2020. NBC said Monday that will not air the Golden Globes in 2022. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

The Golden Globes will take a year off in 2022 due to ethical concerns and a lack of racial diversity on its voting panel.  

NBC, the network that airs the awards show, announced earlier this month that it would be pulling the show for at least the next year. NBC plans to give the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in charge of the awards time to reexamine its ranks and ethics. 

The decision came after the Los Angeles Times released an investigation in February detailing the makeup of the 90 members — none of whom are Black. It was also revealed that there have been no Black members in the past 20 years. 

The investigation also found that the Golden Globes may be in violation of regulations of the Internal Revenue Services. It’s speculated that the tax exempt organization has purposely kept itself small in order to increase the income of current members as their general revenue grows. The concern is that members of the panel are being given and using the money unethically, leading to a biased panel and perpetuating the current lack of diversity within it. 

The issue of diversity came to a head after the nominations were announced for this year’s ceremony. Acclaimed films like “Da 5 Bloods,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Judas and the Black Messiah” were all snubbed in the best picture category. The hashtag #TimesUpGlobes quickly blew up on social media with many celebrities weighing in with their criticism as well. 

Some celebrities, like Tom Cruise, have gone so far as returning past awards in protest. 

Since NBC’s announcement, Netflix, Amazon Studios and WarnerMedia have all said they will not work with the HFPA until necessary changes are made. 

The Golden Globes is not the only award ceremony that has faced controversy for a lack of diversity. A few years ago, the Oscars had their own hashtag of controversy — #OscarsSoWhite. The decision to pull the ceremony may lead other programs to follow suit. 

“NBC’s decision will definitely put other awards on notice to be more diverse,” said Fatou Samba, a cinema arts lecturer at DePaul. “Ultimately, it’s a business decision, and right now being exclusionary is bad for business.” 

Along with the public outcry, there is speculation that a change in the executive board for NBC may have also pushed the decision along. 

Susan Rovner, who has worked on diverse shows including “The Walking Dead,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “This Is Us,” recently became NBCUniversal’s chairman of entertainment content for television and streaming. 

“Does it surprise me that one of Rovner’s first acts when she recently arrived at NBCU was to tell them to go find another network? Not one bit,” said Christopher Parrish, a professor of screenwriting at DePaul.

The Golden Globes have since announced their dedication to diversifying their panel — but there isn’t a collective confidence yet, nor clearly defined plans of action. 

“I think they will make some superficial changes, but honestly any sort of meaningful change has to be systemic and I don’t know if they are going to be able to do something deep and meaningful,” said Paul Booth, a media and cinema studies professor at DePaul. “But I suspect they’ll add some non-white members and require that a certain percentage of nominees have to be from minority groups.”

But Samba believes the fact remains that something will have to give for the sake of fairness and inclusivity. 

“Diversity in these committees is crucial because the diversity of the voters affects the diversity of who gets nominated and ultimately who wins,” Samba said. “… It often determines what gets made and whose stories get told.” 

There is hope that NBC’s decision will have a domino affect on other award shows and the industry in general. 

“I believe NBCU’s decision can have a positive influence on prompting other awards shows to strive for greater diversity,” Parrish said. “Ultimately, money talks and it’s going to take more people than Tom Cruise and Susan Rovner to change Hollywood for the better.”