By Mike Reynolds
Over decades the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has exerted incredible power, especially when it comes to other awards. Comments from Yahoo news stories about the HFPA, for example, go as far back as 2016, and include such observations as “The Golden Globes can influence the Oscars by giving lesser-known films more recognition and Oscar buzz” and “Plenty of Oscar-nominated actors and films won Golden Globes.”
The sad fact about the HFPA and its awards is that they do indeed have an influence on the movie and TV industry’s other awards. At one time many of the older TV and Film Academy voting members didn’t (or weren’t able to) get out and see movies, or simply couldn’t keep up with all the TV contenders, but when their voting papers came in the mail, they used the Globe nominations to dictate their ballot votes, with maybe a few other marks going to friends who had a movie or TV show out that year. This made it easier to vote and seem in touch with the present day. Studios and networks caught on and preyed on that powerful Globe factor. That scenario didn’t change much, even upon the arrival of VHS tapes and DVD screeners.
At the moment, it appears that the HFPA may not be able to assist Oscar and Emmy voters next year. Turmoil abounds, with NBC refusing to air the proposed 78th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony until the group has met the terms set by the network and Hollywood publicists to reform and update their rules and regulations.
Should the HFPA fail to do so, celebrities won’t turn up, nor would any PR people, leaving the 80-plus members and their guests with insufficient numbers to fill the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel ballroom, home venue to the awards. One would expect there would be a vacancy that evening.
The L.A.-based Critics Choice Association (formerly the Broadcast Film Critics Association, or BFCA) approached the Beverly Hills Hilton to hold its annual Critics Choice Awards (CCA) telecast there (instead of at its usual venue in Santa Monica), but the HFPA is up in arms and refusing to let them take the, as of now, vacant spot. I’ve been told that the HFPA has paid for its usual Awards night booking and is adamant about not relinquishing the space to the CCA.
While the HFPA is being “not so kind” to the Critics organization, its members had better watch out. I’m told that some of the HFPA’s legitimate members have already jumped ship and many are now members of a newly introduced international arm of the CCA/BFCA. The group is also welcoming qualified journalists previously denied membership to the HFPA, as well as other international entertainment journalists. Add these moves to the CCA’s proposal of initiating a global awards event and this further diminishes any power or influence left to the HFPA.