Banners across Los Angeles promoting the Golden Globes read, "What the globe needs right now."
It's a tone deaf message as the country is really in need of COVID-19 relief and so much more.
This comes as The Hollywood Foreign Press has come under increased scrutiny for its nominations.
If you take a drive down Los Feliz Boulevard in Los Angeles towards Griffith Park, you'll see a series of signs, promoting the 2021 Golden Globes featuring the sunny dispositions of smiling hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Across the top of the banners is the phrase, "What the globe needs right now."
After spending the last two months back home in New Jersey, listening to a friend who has worked as a COVID-19 nurse in the intesive care unit for the past year, I found the sign immensely offensive - to him and to all the frontline workers who have been putting their lives on the line.
In the past year, we, but especially healthcare workers, have watched as people have died, wondering if we will contract the virus and suffer the same fate.
Is an awards show really what the globe needs right now? Who wants to watch an awards show when over 2.5 million people have died worldwide from the pandemic, 500,000 of whom are Americans?
I couldn't think of a more tone-deaf Hollywood message that's further from the truth.
The Golden Globes missed the messaging mark as the country struggles with increased homelessness and COVID-19
It's not hard to highlight a struggle in the world right now. From homelessness and financial difficulties to a dragging pandemic with an uncertain vaccine rollout, there's no shortage of problems many Americans are facing.
Not far from those signs are vans and tents lined up and down Riverside Drive.
It's not an uncommon sight these days. If you drive around Los Angeles long enough, you're likely to find homeless encampments under almost any underpass or entrance to a freeway. You'll even find tents across the street from a Netflix headquarters, the same streaming service that has the most nominations at the Globes - 22 for films and another 20 for TV series.
It's not just LA. Washington, DC has the highest per capita rate of unhoused in the country with an estimated 6,521 people experiencing homelessness. And according to the Coalition for the Homeless, New York City is experiencing its highest levels of homelessness since the Great Depression - over 56,000 were sleeping in shelters in December 2020. According to the Population Reference Bureau, there's an estimated 600,000 to over 1.5 million people who are unhoused nationwide though there's no official count.
If we need anything right now, it's relief for the unhoused, especially in one of the worst winters I can remember.
We also need a better vaccine rollout.
Despite developing two coronavirus vaccines by 2020's end, Insider's Hilary Brueck described the rollout to combat the spread of COVID-19 as a "deadly and uncoordinated disaster" that's moved painstakingly slow.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 6.2% of Americans have received two doses of the shot as of February 24.
But Dr. Anthony Fauci said previously that it may take close to 90% immunity to "bring the virus to a halt," and the CDC doesnt think we'll get there until November 15 at best and February 17, 2022 at worst.
As for any end in sight? Insider's health team reported the coronavirus is going to stick around in some form forever.
Interest in awards shows has been waning even before the pandemic
Awards show ratings were already "tanking" before the pandemic.
Last year, the Globes brought in 18.3 million viewers, an eight-year low for the show, with Ricky Gervais hosting for his fifth and final time. The Oscars last year also had an all-time low with 23.6 million viewers while the Grammys that year were the least watched in 12 years with 18.7 million viewers.
It seems as if the only people who care about awards shows, especially right now, are the people who produce them, the nominees, and the media who cover them.
If that's the case, declining ratings may be a sign that Hollywood needs to create something fresh.
The Globes have been a questionable awards show for years
This year, the Globes have been under an increased amount of scrutiny due to questionable nods ("Emily in Paris") and snubs ranging from Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods," HBO's "I May Destroy You," and "One Night in Miami."
In fact, Black films were entirely shut out of the best picture conversation.
Unfortunately, this shouldn't be a surprise for those paying close attention. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group who hosts the Globes and picks the winners, is only made up of 87 members, none of whom are Black.
It's silly to spend time getting fired up over noms when the journalists and photographers making these very same decisions are a small pool of people, who don't accurately reflect Hollywood.
(In comparison, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who host the Oscars, currently has over 8,000 eligible voters to decide who wins.)
To their credit, for the first time ever, the Globes nominated three women for best director. That's a small victory for that category in terms of gender parity, but if the show isn't inclusive of all types of creatives and stories is it really progress?
The HFPA said they're committed to changing, but only after a recent lawsuit for allegedly blocking journalists who apply to join. In a statement released Thursday, the HFPA said their new chapter will start with bringing in more Black members, "as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds."
It feels like an empty gesture made a little too late. This should have happened a long time ago.
It's not the first the HFPA's voting has been called into question. The FCC banned NBC for broadcasting the show from 1968 to 1974 during a prior investigation of how it selected its winners.
Yes, I understand wanting to celebrate the hard work of actors, stunt persons, directors, producers, and more. They should be celebrated.
But until the Globes make concentrated efforts to ensure a more representative show, perhaps we look elsewhere to do just that. Perhaps that's what the globe needs right now.
Read the original article on Insider