A January 2023 broadcast of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association-organized shindig is “not a done deal,” according to a well-placed source. While talks have been going on between the longtime Globes broadcaster and the Helen Hoehne-led HFPA, no final agreement has been reached as of today. Among the sticking points are timing of a potential 2023 Globes on NBC, with a number of dates being floated around things like NFL games and more. Perhaps more telling are concerns about a backlash to a Globes return and reforms the HFPA has enacted to get back in Hollywood’s good graces.
NBC announced in March 2021 that it would not air the 2022 Globes.
A two-page letter sent out Monday to various stakeholders including distributors and publicists stated: “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has answered the call for change by restructuring the organization in order to address institutional and systemic concerns.”
However, for all its claims of change — as well as meetings with representatives from Black, Latinx, Asian, AAPI, Native American, people with disabilities and LGBTQIA+ populations throughout the industry — the HFPA offered few specifics about who it has significantly liaisoned with and when.
The letter cites HFPA president Hoehne, interim CEO Todd Boehly, Chief Diversity Officer Neil Phillips and other non-member and member directors.
A number of Tinseltown heavyweights have requested a mass virtual meeting with the HFPA leadership and Boehly to seek clarification on the organization’s reforms and future plans, we hear. But none of them has received a response to that request, we’re told.
Meanwhile, HFPA also has offered little traction on its accreditation process. While the HFPA has added just more than 20 new members in the past year or so, the majority of its membership remains the membership that was in place as the organization found itself in a scandal spotlight. That grandfathered membership still draws primarily from small outlets and publications and blogs. There’s also the complication of the membership proper and the voting members.
Then there’s the issue of the star-power-hungry Globes actually getting A-listers on stage. The concern for the Comcast-owned NBC is whether top-level publicists would deliver marquee talent to the Globes.
Said one awards strategist to Deadline this afternoon: “The problem isn’t that the HFPA has a history of voting for a diverse line-up of nominees, the problem is that the org isn’t being transparent and that the former members are still there. There’s been no turnover.”
NBC had no comment about any potential 2023 return of the Golden Globes when contacted by Deadline today. The HFPA today also declined comment.
In September 2018, the network signed an eight-year deal to air the Golden Globes through 2026, continuing a 23-year tradition. It’s estimated that under the current deal, NBC has been paying roughly $60 million a year to air the ceremony, which traditionally has kicked off the awards-season year.
Of course, it’s been a tumultuous year-plus for the besieged HFPA and its signature trophy show, which has been a magnet for controversy for decades. Just before the 78th Globes ceremony in February 2021, HFPA began taking flak over the lack of diversity in its ranks. More backlash followed after the group’s its poorly received initial statement about it during the virtual 2021 Globes and its subsequent plan for “transformational change.”
In a March 2021 letter to HFPA brass, a collective of Hollywood publicists warned the group it had better make meaningful changes — or risk them telling their star clients to stay away from the ceremony. About seven months later, the organization announced that it would go ahead with an untelevised 2022 Golden Globes. That pared-down January 9 ceremony, which also was not livestreamed, went on with no celebrity presenters or nominees involved and no red carpet. Instead, it put the focus on the HFPA’s philanthropic efforts; individuals from organizations who have received donations from the group announced the nominees and winners.
Despite all the tumult, some of the night’s winners proceeded to sing the praises of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
HFPA President Hoehne and others in the org have been on a charm offensive for the past several months, speaking to industry groups, power players and others to convince them of the reforms the organization has put in place.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.