The 2021 Golden Globe Award nominations were announced at the beginning of this month, and they were completely confounding: Emily In Paris, an objectively unimaginative show, received two nominations while the critically acclaimed I May Destroy You was entirely snubbed. Three women were nominated in the Best Director category (Regina King, Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell), but the year’s Black-led Oscar contenders like Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Judas and the Black Messiah, didn’t receive Best Picture nominations. None of this made any sense, and the Los Angeles Times has uncovered why: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the non-profit comprised of the 87 critics responsible for the Globe nominations—none of whom are Black—accepts “thousands of dollars in emoluments” from studios they award, creating a “culture of corruption,” according to a lawsuit filed by Norwegian entertainment journalist Kjersti Flaa.
In its investigation, the Times found that the tax-exempt non-profit had been directing some of its supposedly philanthropic funds to members—and that HFPA members accepted “payment from studios and producers for representing films and lobbying other HFPA members for Golden Globe nominations and awards for these films,” according to a lawsuit filed by former HFPA publicist Michael Russell. That behavior is why Emily In Paris is suspect: the publication found that over 30 HFPA members were flown to France to visit the set in 2019, and to be treated to an extremely luxurious press junket.
From the article:
While there, Paramount Network treated the group to a two-night stay at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel, where rooms currently start at about $1,400 a night, and a news conference and lunch at the Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum filled with amusement rides dating to 1850 where the show was shooting.
“They treated us like kings and queens,” said one member who participated in the junket, which was also attended by other non-HFPA media. (A freelance contributor to The Times also visited the show’s set and interviewed its creator, Darren Star.)
...One HFPA member says the show’s best series nod points to a broader credibility issue for the group. “There was a real backlash and rightly so — that show doesn’t belong on any best of 2020 list,” said this member, who did not attend the junket. “It’s an example of why many of us say we need change. If we continue to do this, we invite criticism and derision.”
Paramount and Netflix have yet to comment. That sure is some... promotional tactic?
Read the full report from the Los Angeles Times here.