The 2022 Golden Globes explainer

The 2022 Golden Globes were a depressing start to this year’s award cycle. Without a red carpet, a host or even a televised showing, the award show quietly came and went.

Normally, an event like the Golden Globes thrives on publicity. This year, the Globes showed that not all press is good press, in multiple ways. The reason why the Golden Globes were so secretive was because of scandals wreaking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the group of journalists behind the award show.

An LA Times investigation published early last year revealed the HFPA’s history of accepting gifts from eventual nominees, bringing the Golden Globe’s legitimacy into question. The investigation also exposed the absence of Black journalists within the HFPA.

After the investigation, Hollywood elites, public relations firms and finally NBC, the station that broadcasts the Golden Globes, announced they would boycott the award show until the HFPA made changes.

Without support from Hollywood or a major television network, the 2022 Golden Globes became a private event. The public was only given brief updates via the Golden Globes Twitter account, which live-tweeted the winner of each category.

In the days after the Golden Globes, members of the HFPA tried to reframe the embarrassment and scandal by publishing articles on the award show’s website.

In his article “Golden Globes 2022: An intimate celebration of philanthropy and talent,” HFPA journalist Scott Orlin forwent addressing the celebrity boycott, writing that the featured charities and their representatives “became the celebrities of the evening.”

Margaret Gardiner, another HFPA journalist, also highlighted the philanthropic efforts of the HFPA in her article “HFPA reforms & moves forward.”

Instead of pointing to specific reforms or goals to repair the HFPA’s reputation, Gardiner wrote that the HFPA “has donated $50 million to a variety of causes over 25 years,” skirting around accusations of discrimination and corruption.

Charitable donations indicate a philanthropic spirit, but the HFPA needs to focus inward on internal changes. After the LA Times investigation, the HFPA published a statement and reform plan involving internal DEI and member recruitment initiatives. Since then, the HFPA has updated the public on changes in its leadership, Golden Globes nomination processes and partnerships with DEI coalitions.

The HFPA has made progress, but it remains to be seen whether or not its efforts will continue or whether they will be enough to make amends with Hollywood.

While NBC has yet to make a statement about the future of its relationship with the Golden Globes, the network is currently halfway through an eight-year contract with the HFPA for the rights to broadcast the award show.

The story behind this year’s Golden Globes was one filled with drama and scandal, but the Golden Globes is not the only award show receiving backlash. Over the years, the Grammys has developed a growing group of artists boycotting their show due to discrimination. The Academy Awards has also been called out by Hollywood for its exclusivity and lack of diversity with #OscarsSoWhite.

Discrimination and scandals within award shows affect members of the entertainment industry and discourage viewers from watching.

“I can’t remember the last award show I watched,” DePaul senior Aaron Monroe said. “I’m not as tuned into award shows as I once was. I don’t find them entertaining and the voters can’t be trusted to always get the winner right.”

The future of award shows is dimming. Scandals aside, some viewers feel that award shows have lost their allure over time.

“I think I used to pay a lot more attention when I was in high school,” DePaul student Pavitra Reddy said. “Unless I’m super passionate about the show, album, or performance, I don’t really watch.”

Gisselle Bahena, another DePaul student, said she only watches the snippets of her favorite celebrities, never the whole show.

“I kind of find them boring now,” Bahena said. “I just get the information on the winners, performances, and anything interesting that happened through social media.”

The 2022 awards season had a rough start with the Golden Globes, but the future is not looking much brighter. The Grammys are postponed until the end of the month due to the Omicron variant and the Academy Awards will try to build back their audience after losing over half of their typical viewership last year.