Less than a week out from the 78th Golden Globe Awards and I still can’t believe it: how did Netflix’s universal hate-watch Emily in Paris score two major nominations, including one for best television series, musical or comedy?
It’s a good question, and one that even one of the series’ own writers posited, wondering why Michaela Cole’s revered I May Destroy You was snubbed in favour of a show about “a white American selling luxury whiteness”. But now the investigative unit at the Los Angeles Times has a bombshell theory for it, and it involves copious use of terms such as “ethical conflicts” and “culture of corruption”.
Oh boy, this sounds like it’s going to be good – for us, not for the 87 international journalists who make up the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs and votes on the Globes.
According to the Times, in 2019 the Paramount Network, which produced Emily in Paris, treated over 30 Golden Globes voters to a lavish set visit for the show in France which included “a two-night stay at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel, where rooms currently start at about $US1,400 a night, and a news conference and lunch at the Musee des Arts Forains, a private museum filled with amusement rides dating to 1850 where the show was shooting.”
Yes, I think I’d totally remember that when it came time to file my voter card.
“They treated us like kings and queens,” one member who participated in the junket told the Times. The report paints a bleak portrait of the Globes’ mysterious voters, including the “widespread perception” among Hollywood’s awards campaigners “that members can still be wheedled and swayed with special attention and access to A-list stars with whom they can take selfies to post on Instagram”.
Yikes. But somehow I feel like I’ve heard this before?
Perhaps it was from regular Globes host Ricky Gervais himself, who in his 2016 monologue quipped that the Globes were “worthless” and “a bit of metal that some nice old confused journalists wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you.”
Lol, Ricky. Guess it’s funny ’cause it’s true?
According to the Times, “HFPA members have frequently been portrayed as celebrity-obsessed freeloaders, exchanging votes for perks and access, and undermining any notion of journalistic credibility.”
The report notes that the HFPA has “weathered a string of embarrassing scandals” over its nearly 80-year history. Actress Pia Zadora’s surprise win for Butterfly in 1982 has long faced controversy, amid revelations her husband had flown out HFPA members to his Vegas casino just weeks before voting. In 1999, then HFPA president Helmut Voss ordered his cohorts to “return 82 Coach watches valued at more than $US400 a piece” that had been given to members by USA Films, who were campaigning for a Globes nod for Sharon Stone in their film The Muse.
What has the HFPA said about the article?
A representative for the group told the Times, “None of these allegations has ever been proven in court or in any investigation, [and they] simply repeat old tropes about the HFPA and reflect unconscious bias against the HFPA’s diverse membership.”
Framing the piece as an attack on their diversity? That’s ballsy.
The Times has since followed up with another piece looking into the HFPA’s “diverse membership” and found that, while its “ranks include a number of people of colour, there are no black members”. According to an antitrust lawsuit filed against the HFPA last year by a Norwegian entertainment journalist, “one member in their 90s is deaf and legally blind.”
Deaf, blind, and in their 90s? That might explain the multiple nominations for Sia’s Music.
To paraphrase our lawyers: “No comment”.