Golden Globes image

Why Are People Boycotting the Golden Globes?

The Golden Globes are gearing up for tonight’s show in a rainy Los Angeles, but we’ve barely heard a peep about them. And for good reason. The ceremony, which combines awards for movies and television into one show, has had a rough few years of it. And it is entirely the fault of the nonprofit organization behind the awards: the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

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The HFPA is comprised of 87 voters who are responsible for the annual nominations. The reveal of their identities was shocking for many, and became the source of a lot of the backlash against the Golden Globes. But there are plenty of reasons why people are not fans of the award show.

You might be wondering why you’re just now learning that the Golden Globes are airing on January 10, and the answer is that no one wants to talk about them. Simply put: They’re controversial—for a number of reasons, but it is a longstanding issue with the ceremony. So why exactly is it such a bad awards show? Let’s break it down.

A lack of diversity in the HFPA

In 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported that out of the 80-plus voters in the HFPA, not one of them was Black. On top of that, few of the voters worked full-time at notable foreign publications. The piece went on to allege other damning things, including that the HFPA took “freebies” from PR people. This was, for the most part, just the start of the Golden Globes’ downfall.

Calling out the obvious problems with the voting party was just the start, and did result in NBC pulling the live broadcast of the event from their 2022 schedule. But the HFPA has a history that spans far past the 2021 bombshell reveal, and it includes the organization’s protection of former president Philip Berk.

Former HFPA President Philip Berk

A name no one wants to remember, Berk allegedly sexually assaulted Brendan Fraser in 2003, and was thought to be behind the actor’s blacklisting in Hollywood. Berk was not removed from the HFPA, which stopped inviting Fraser to events. In 2018, the actor told GQ that “the silence was deafening.” Fraser has been open about not attending the Golden Globes this year, even though he is nominated for his performance in The Whale—and rightfully so.

Frankly, that is enough for me to not care about what happens with the ceremony. Fraser has had quite the comeback this year with his performance as Charlie in The Whale, but how the HFPA treated Berk (and therefore Fraser) is not something to ignore.

It has also encouraged others, including Tom Cruise (who gave back his awards), Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo to speak out against the HFPA publicly.

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Still, stars will show up to the show and that is always going to be the case. Ana de Armas is presenting along with Billy Porter and Jamie Lee Curtis, and there is the draw of Jerrod Carmichael hosting the event (versus the string of controversial hosts they previously had on top of everything else). It’ll be interesting to see how the ceremony as a whole plays.

The HFPA still has a lot of work to do, and the continued boycotting of the Golden Globes will help to hold them accountable to actually make those changes.

(featured image: Emma McIntyre, Getty Images for Hollywood Foreign Press Association)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.