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Globes nominees celebrate on the down low and play the ‘wait and see’ game after diversity scandal

Five Australian stars nominated for Golden Globes

Ther’s been a somewhat muted response to the announcement of nominees for next year’s Golden Globes, with many choosing to play the ‘wait and see’ game before celebrating ahead of the January 10 ceremony.

The glitzy, booze-fuelled ceremony that kicks off Hollywood’s award season was tainted following a diversity and ethics scandal within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

A 2021 Los Angeles Times investigation probed the association’s practices and revealed the organisation had no Black members, leading to a 12-month hiatus.

So after the five nominees for each of the 27 award categories were announced by father-daughter duo Mayan Lopez and Selenis Leyva (Lopez vs Lopez, NBC) on December 12, only a small cohort of stars issued statements or took to social media to acknowledge the nod.

It was left to the motion picture and television distributors to do the honours across the 135 films, TV series, musicals, comedies and animations that received nominations.

US-based Australian Hugh Jackman was among the actor nominees who posted a video, with hand on heart thanking the HFPA and his fellow nominees.

Fellow Australian nominees included Cate Blanchett (Tar), Margot Robbie (Babylon), Baz Luhrmann (best director, Elvis) and Elizabeth Debicki (The Crown).

“Typically, Deadline and other media outlets are overwhelmed with requests after the Golden Globes to talk to giddy actors and actresses who just received their first (or repeat) nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” wrote Deadline.

“But not this year.

“Despite a new level of transparency by the HFPA and promises that it has cleaned house, everyone still remains in a veritable ‘wait and see’ state when it comes to the new and ‘improved’ Golden Globes.”

Who else said thank you?

Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain thanked the Globes for her best actress nomination for a limited series for George and Tammy, about country music power couple, Tammy Wynette and George Jones.

Stand By Your Man was such a pivotal moment in Tammy’s career and I was beyond nervous to sing it,” she wrote on Twitter.

As did Kevin Costner for Yellowstone: “To be recognised for this performance is the cherry on top, and I share this nomination with everyone who contributed to the show especially my fellow cast mates, the producers and the crew.”

The few other actors who gave the HFPA a shoutout turned to social media, including Niecy Nash for Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, who called herself a “Golden Girl”.

Other nods included Henry Winkler for best supporting actor for Barry, Diego Luna for best actor in TV series Andor, and Colin Farrell, for best actor and Brendan Gleeson for best supporting actor for The Banshees of Inisherin.

Best Motion Picture-Drama is always the last category of the night – and the most prestigious.

The nominees include sequels Avatar: The Way of Water (Walt Disney) and Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures), which will face off against Elvis (Warner Bros), Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures), and Tar (Focus Features), the story of a manipulative conductor.

Director Jerry Bruckheimer stood out by issuing a statement about Top Gun.

“Thank you so much for this honour. Top Gun: Maverick brought audiences back to theatres at a time when we needed entertainment the most.

“I am overjoyed to share this nomination with Paramount, Tom and the entire cast and crew who made this possible.”

So what has changed?

Tom Cruise returned his Golden Globe statues in protest after the lack of diversity within the association as longtime broadcaster NBC dropped the 2022 telecast.

The Comcast-owned network agreed to air the Globes again in 2023 after the organisation made reforms.

This year, nominees were voted by 96 members and, for the first time, 103 international voters, “recruited from international industry organisations, well-known foreign film festivals and journalism professionals”, according to the official Golden Globes website.

It stated the voting group represented 62 different countries around the world.

Combined with the current membership, the total Globes voting body was now 52 per cent female, 51.8 percent racially and ethnically diverse, with 19.6 per cent Latinx, 12.1 per cent Asian, 10.1 per cent Black and 10.1 per cent Middle Eastern.

The move to boycott last year’s ceremony with a “TimesUp” campaign came after the Times revealed there was no Black representation among its 87 members.

It wrote: “For instance, according to a list of active members as of 2019, Meher Tatna, a former HFPA president, who is from India, represented Singapore, while Theo Kingma, another former president who is from the Netherlands, at one time represented Australia and Cuba as well as his native country.

“The association includes three Americans, Brent Simon, Vera Anderson and Scott Orlin, who have represented China, Mexico and Germany, respectively. Until he died last year at age 94, a fourth, Jack Tewksbury, represented Argentina,” wrote Josh Rottenberg and Stacy Perman.

“The HFPA has always faced doubts about its legitimacy, given its small voting numbers and dubious reputation for being both starstruck and vulnerable to influence through gifts, trips, and access,” wrote Vanity Fair at the time.
Fast forward two years, and HFPA president Helen Hoehne says the organisation “remains committed to important changes and supporting programs that prioritise diversity, inclusion and transparency”.

“This is really not the old HFPA anymore,” she told The Hollywood Reporter this month.

“Over the past 18 months — almost two years now — we took a deep look inward and listened to the criticism. The changes that we’ve made were the expansion of our voting body, the universal gift ban.

“We are one of the only awards shows that has a universal gift ban. And we built a new infrastructure that transformed our organisation and the awards show into something that is more diverse, transparent, and responsive.

“We are the only major awards show that is voted on by a majority of women and by a majority of voters who self-identify as ethnically diverse.”

“We have seen first-hand the dedication of the HFPA as it continues to modernise and act on its important mission,” said the show’s producer Adam Stotsky, president of MRC.

The 80th Golden Globe Awards premieres January 10 at 8pm

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