Despite its worldwide audience of millions, the Golden Globe Awards are generally regarded as a joke in Hollywood.  The Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a collective of aproximately 80 foreign journalists - and in some of the less popular categories, it can take as few as five votes for a film or television series to win!
   After languishing for many years as a good awards show for stars to get drunk at, the Golden Globes reinvented itself as an awards show preview for the Academy Awards.  The reality is that this could not be further from the truth.
   Very few of the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association actually work as film critics.  The majority of them are celebrity journalists.  And many of them are also actually quite old - not that there's anything wrong with that, but the HFPA is an exclusive organization, and rarely admits new members.  This means cutting-edge films rarely get a chance at an award.
   Because a Golden Globe Award is basically great publicity, the studios spend thousands of dollars courting the HFPA to help get their films nominated.  The members of the HFPA are flown around the world and have expensive gifts lavished on them.
   But when it comes time to vote, many members vote with their hearts, not their critical minds.  Sharon Stone knew this and during her campaign for a Globe one year, she presented each member with an expensive watch.  When her "efforts" were revealed by the press, the HFPA returned the watches to her and Stone went home award-less
   In lesser categories such as best foreign film, many members do not even see the movies.  Instead, some members rely on their foreign film expert members to advise them on which film to vote for.
   It is estimated that in a year with a strong field of contenders for an award, the award winner, even in a major category, may have recieved as few as five or six votes.  Which is why the Golden Globes are about as representative as an award show voted on by you and your friends.
   Basically, think of them as a spectacular fashion show, with an awards theme!
By Pete Fowler
Pete Fowler is the pseudonym of an entertainment journalist in New York City
TV Guide Canada, January 18-24, 2003

Tainted Gold
Treachery Abounds at the Golden Globes