The reckoning has officially arrived for The Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The HFPA received a one-two punch of bad news Monday, first when it was revealed superstar Tom Cruise returned the three Golden Globes trophies he’s won over the years, and NBC announced it won’t air the Globes next year. The HFPA has faced heavy criticism and industry backlash for quite some time for its woeful lack of diversity. But a damning expose by the Los Angeles Times revealed the group has ZERO black members, and led to threats from publicists that their star clients would boycott the show if things didn’t change.
The news that Cruise, one of Hollywood’s biggest superstars for nearly four decades, sent his awards back to join the protest against the HFPA’s practices earned him praise from notable talents such as Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
NBC deciding to take the Golden Globes off the air in 2022 was especially surprising. The awards show is usually a ratings magnet for the network because the HFPA is notorious for being “star friendly.” In fact, the entertainment news site Deadline says NBC is paying the HFPA $60 million a year through 2026 to air the Globes. In a statement, NBC suggested the split with the Globes won’t be permanent, provided the HFPA follows through on its promises to reform.
Along with getting spurned by NBC and Cruise, WarnerMedia has joined streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Studios in boycotting the Globes until the HFPA overhauls its practices. The entertainment giant says HBO/HBO Max, its WB film studio as well as cable networks TBS/TNT will have no dealings with the Golden Globes until such changes are enacted to ensure the nomination and awards process reflects genuine racial and gender equity.
The HFPA has not commented as yet on today’s news. Last week, it did outline its plan to reform that includes measures to boost the number of people of color in the group. Other changes include new restrictions on gifts and that the members could receive.