Deadline is, only for informational purposes, posting the 2012 Golden Globes nominations held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with the awards to be broadcast live on NBC on January 15th. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a completely meaningless awards show from a scandal-riddled organization on a network desperate for ratings. That’s why I opt out of analyzing the nominations every year: because the Golden Globes have zero integrity. Studios and networks who lavishly lobby the HFPA almost always score nominations. Stars win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. Everything about the awards is geared towards hyping the media’s interest and the telecast’s ratings. And that includes inviting host Ricky Gervais, who can’t resist openly loathing the HFPA from the stage. No one will forget last year when he took the stage and was even more blasphemous towards the tarnished reputation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I ever could be. (“I’d like to quash this ridiculous rumor going round that the only reason [The Tourist] was nominated was so the Hollywood Foreign Press could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angeline Jolie. That is rubbish. That is not the only reason. They also accepted bribes.”)
Not only have journalists like myself for years been attacking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for its exclusionary membership policies and too-cozy relationship with studios and networks, but an Oscar-winning documentary director (Vikram Jayanti, in his 2004 film The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret) has called the group a bunch of “freeloaders” who know more about hors d’oeuvres than auteurs and select winners based on “who kisses butt best”. The HFPA has been accused in a lawsuit filed by its former publicist (who for 17 years used to be paid to protect the group’s image) of accepting “payola” — like taking lavish gifts from studios in exchange for nominations — and other questionable business practices. Even though the charges are denied by the HFPA, the lawsuit alleges what we’ve all known: that the Golden Globes and the organization behind it have zero integrity.
Hollywood filmmakers and TV producers who lavishly lobby the HFPA almost always score nominations. Stars win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. Everything about the awards is geared towards hyping the media’s interest and the telecast’s ratings. Even the small motley group of 85 mostly freelancers who belong to the HFPA won’t grant membership to the real foreign journalists at the prestige media outlets across the world. The HFPA clique doesn’t want to dilute the financial bonanza they receive from the studios and networks who arrange exclusive interviews about each year’s movies and TV shows. The organizations who put on the Golden Globes — NBC and Dick Clark Productions — could clean up the HFPA but choose not to. That’s because everybody is making gobs of money, including the HFPA, which pockets an estimated $30 million in broadcast fees for the awards show. Instead, the entire entertainment industry props up this pathetic broadcast, which is seen as a night-long marketing tool. And FYI: only once in the last seven years has the winner of one of the Golden Globe best film prizes gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars (2008’s Slumdog Millionaire), though that came after an 8-year Globe/Oscar winning streak. Last year’s top drama Globe went to The Social Network. Oops. Then again, let’s not forget that, in 1968, the Federal Communications Commission accused the HFPA of misleading the public as to how the winners were determined, alleging that Globe winners were determined by lobby and by who would show up to receive the award rather than blind poll. NBC subsequently refused to broadcast the awards until 1974.
So I refuse to treat these nominations with any seriousness. And if you don’t want that, then for crissakes stop reading me… But my Deadline colleagues will analyze today’s nominations. The only reason I can think of to tune in to the Golden Globes is for the jokes. Over the years, Jack Nicholson has mooned the audience, Jim Carrey has talked out of his butt, Christine Lahti was locked in the bathroom, and other unscripted weirdness occurs at this intimate dinner. Including 1982’s low point when Pia Zadora’s husband bought her best “New Star Of The Year”. Perhaps Christian Bale summed it up best when he took the stage at last year’s Golden Globes and humiliated the HFPA in his acceptance speech. “I never really knew who those guys were. I’d always leave the press junkets going, ‘Who are those oddball characters in that room?'”