Why no-show Golden Globes signals it's time to 'reinvent the genre of the award show'

·Senior Reporter
·4 min read

It was a very weird year for the Golden Globes.

Yes, they happened. And no, you didn't miss it because, well, there wasn't much to miss.

The ceremony (if you could call it that) took place on Sunday with no red carpet, no celebrity-driven audience, and no live telecast with winners announced via Twitter in real time.

Netflix's "The Power of the Dog" (NFLX) and Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" each walked away with three major movie awards while HBO's "Succession" led the TV category after snagging best drama and actor wins for Jeremy Strong and Sarah Snook.

Another standout moment? "Squid Game" star O Yeong-su became the first South Korean to ever win a Golden Globe after taking home the statuette for best supporting actor.

Still, it all felt weird.

"This could be a tipping point where award shows are viewed in a different light," Comscore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Yahoo Finance. "That doesn't mean that they go away. It means it's time to reassess and reinvent the genre of the award show."

Why nobody would broadcast the Golden Globes

NBC (CMCSA) dropped the broadcast last year amid a flurry of controversy after the Los Angeles Times published a scathing exposé on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a nonprofit that consists of 105 foreign journalists who dole out the annual Golden Globe awards. The investigation found evidence of alleged corruption, bullying, and self-dealing. It also noted that out of the 87 members of the HFPA at that time, not one of them was Black.

The network left the door open for a 2023 telecast — but only if the HFPA could make systemic changes.

The organization quickly committed to a complete overhaul that included hiring its first chief diversity officer, creating new rules that ban members from receiving gifts from studios, and adding 21 new diverse members to its ranks. Of the new class, 29% identify as Black.

"It's time to reassess and reinvent the genre of the award show."Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore Senior Media Analyst

Still, a larger question looms when it comes to whether people still care about the Globes or any award show for that matter. Last year, ratings sank to a 13-year low of just 6.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That's a 63% drop compared to 2020's telecast, which saw an audience of 18.4 million.

Overall, analysts are split when it comes to the cachet of a Golden Globes win.

"I think it still holds a very important place in film culture. It certainly gets people jobs and recognition within the industry that can push them to the next level or get them other gigs down the road," Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro, told Yahoo Finance.

He cited Ryan Coogler, who (prior to "Black Panther" fame) first gained Hollywood's attention after directing the critically acclaimed drama "Fruitvale Station."

"I think examples like that really kind of feed into how important it is to that side of the industry, in terms of what it means to the populace and mainstream," Robbins continued. He added that it's an "evolving" presence in the industry, especially as "mostly films of a less than commercial nature tend to win these awards."

"I think that's a debate that will exist forever," the analyst surmised.

A view shows the Golden Globe statue before the 79th Annual Golden Globe Awards nominations announcement in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., December 13, 2021.
A view shows the Golden Globe statue before the 79th Annual Golden Globe Awards nominations announcement in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., December 13, 2021.

Comscore's Dergarabedian told Yahoo Finance that "the impact is much more subdued or offset by the fact that we're not able to have a traditional award ceremony." He argued that award shows like the Globes are much more influential when accompanied by the glitz of a red carpet, in-person acceptance speeches, and a live audience.

"One of the key components of what makes these things work is gone, which is the in-person," the analyst explained.

'Virtual water cooler'

Historically, big award ceremonies (including nominations and wins) heightened the awareness of more under-the-radar films, like 2019's "Parasite," which won Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards.

"These award shows encouraged and inspired people to go see great movies that they might not have otherwise seen; however, that element is sort of gone now," Dergarabedian said, explaining that consumers can discover new shows and movies by reading online reviews, browsing social media, and participating in the "virtual water cooler."

"It's more about social media than award shows right now, or even winning those awards."

So does this mean the end of the Golden Globes? Probably not, but it likely could mean the end of the award ceremony we used to know.

Change and reinvention has hit virtually every industry amid the pandemic. Now, it's clear not even Hollywood is immune, which (if we're being honest) might not be such a bad thing after all.

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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