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
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
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 is the pseudonym of an entertainment journalist in New
TV Guide Canada, January 18-24, 2003
Tainted Gold Treachery Abounds at the Golden Globes