Here's what to expect from the Golden Globes as scandal, coronavirus clouds ceremony

Alexandra Canal
·3 min read

The Golden Globes will air this Sunday on NBC, but the award show's glamor is being overshadowed by a recent scandal and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that's forced the production to go virtual.

Despite its not so subtle problems, the Globes still offers a window of opportunity for shows and movies that want to capture more viewers. It is also often perceived as a precursor to the annual Academy Awards ceremony, which will take place on April 25 this year.

Netflix's "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (NFLX) and Hulu's "Nomadland" (DIS) have both received Oscar buzz and are expected to go head-to-head for Best Picture in the drama category. In the comedy category, many critics believe Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat" sequel, which is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video (AMZN), will take home the award — although Disney's "Hamilton" might give the cult classic a run for its money

And in a surprising twist, "Promising Young Woman" — which received multiple nominations — could walk away with a few wins, including a Best Actress victory for Carey Mulligan. The late Chadwick Boseman, who was posthumously nominated for his performance in Netflix's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," could secure Best Actor.

Shrouded in controversy

Netflix's 'Emily in Paris' secured a nomination for Best Musical / Comedy Series (Courtesy: Netflix)
Netflix's 'Emily in Paris' secured a nomination for Best Musical / Comedy Series (Courtesy: Netflix)

The ceremony is taking place against a backdrop of a brewing controversy. The "L.A. Times" recently published a scathing exposé on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a nonprofit which consists of 87 foreign journalists who dole out the annual Golden Globe awards, and found evidence of alleged corruption, bullying, and self-dealing.

According to the report, millions of dollars were paid to HFPA members in the form of expensive junkets, swag and trips. For the fiscal year ending in June 2020, members collected nearly $2 million in payments — more than double the level three years earlier. The details, and the amounts associated with the largesse, were surprising given a coronavirus outbreak that's largely brought the entertainment industry to a grinding halt.

The investigation also revealed that 30 members were flown to Paris to visit the set of the Netflix series "Emily in Paris" in 2019. That show went on to secure a nomination for Best Musical / Comedy Series, which had many critics scratching their heads as notable, Black-centric programs like "I May Destroy You" and "Insecure" were shut out of the running.

Additionally, the investigation noted that out of the 87 members of the HFPA, not one of them is Black. The organization responded in a statement writing, "We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV, and the artists inspiring and educating them."

Many prominent Black figures in the industry were not surprised by the revelation. Director Ava DuVernay responded on Twitter, writing "[Isn't this] already widely known?"

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A greater push has been made for diversity in the entertainment industry, with the Oscars recently tweaking their eligibility requirements to establish greater representation and inclusion.

On Friday, Netflix released a first-of-its-kind diversity study which analyzed its movies and TV shows from 2018 to 2019. Although the report showed the streaming giant "outpacing the industry in hiring women and women of color to direct [its] films" and has "achieved gender equality in leading roles across [its] films and series," there is still work to be done.

Netflix plans to commit $100 million over the next five years to further promote inclusion, and close the diversity gap. The money will help fund outside organizations that help underrepresented communities find jobs in TV and film.

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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