NBC revives tarnished Golden Globe telecast – with reforms

THE Golden Globe Awards telecast, which sloshes money through the entertainment economy, will return in January with an even bigger platform. NBC cancelled the show in 2021 amid an ethics, finance and diversity scandal that continues to simmer.

NBC said Tuesday (Sep 20) that it would broadcast the 80th Golden Globes ceremony Jan 10. (Oscar balloting begins 2 days after that.) For the first time, the show will also be available simultaneously online, through NBCUniversal's streaming service, Peacock.

Nominations will be announced Dec 12.

To justify its decision, NBCUniversal pointed to a wide range of reforms at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organisation that bestows the Globes. Frances Berwick, NBCUniversal's chair of entertainment networks, said in a statement: "We recognise the HFPA's commitment to ongoing change."

Notably, however, the company said it was bringing back the Globes only under a 1-year agreement, allowing the organisers "to explore new opportunities for domestic and global distribution across a variety of platforms in the future".

The foreign press association has overhauled membership eligibility, recruited new members with an emphasis on diversity, enacted a stricter code of conduct, elected a new president and largely ended its tax-exempt status, transforming into a for-profit company with a philanthropic arm. Last month, the HFPA sent a letter to studios that pointed to "transformational change" in the areas of "diversity, transparency and accountability".

The 108-member foreign press association now has 6 Black voters - up from zero last year - and has added 103 non-member voters, a dozen or so of whom are Black.

The foreign press association had long been viewed as unserious and slippery.

Hollywood decided it could no longer turn a blind eye in February 2021, when a wide-ranging article in The Los Angeles Times enumerated financial and ethical lapses at the association and revealed that it had no Black members.

"For far too long, demands for perks, special favours and unprofessional requests have been made to our teams and to others across the industry," a Warner spokesperson said at the time. "We regret that, as an industry, we have complained but largely tolerated this behaviour until now." NYTIMES

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