Deadline is, only for informational purposes, posting the 2013 Golden Globes nominations held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with winners to be broadcast live on NBC on January 13th. I refuse to treat these nominations with any seriousness. And if you don’t want that, then for crissakes stop reading me. True, my Deadline colleagues will analyze today’s nominations. But that’s because they choose to. I won’t. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a completely meaningless awards show from a scandal-riddled organization aired by a production company desperate for money on a network praying 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. Actors win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. By splitting dramas and comedies/musicals, and including movie and television categories on the same night, more star wattage can goose the Nielsens. And even though the entire entertainment industry ridicules the awards, it props them up because they’re a useful marketing tool for the studios and networks. Let’s not forget the year that host Ricky Gervais couldn’t resist openly loathing the HFPA and its tarnished reputation from the podium. (“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.”) At least it was a rare injection of honesty into the night.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association isn’t as advertised. It’s actually a small motley group of 85 mostly freelancers who 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 it receives from the studios and networks who arrange exclusive interviews about each year’s movies and TV shows. Not only have legitimate journalists 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 was even accused in a lawsuit filed by its former publicist of accepting “payola” — like taking lavish gifts from studios in exchange for nominations — and other questionable business practices. This and other lawsuits have laid bare many of the dirty little secrets behind the Golden Globes and its largely ludicrous gang of organizers.
And then there are the companies who put on the Golden Globes: NBC and Dick Clark Productions, now owned by Guggenheim Partners, which also owns The Hollywood Reporter. They could clean up the HFPA but choose not to. (In fact Guggenheim is using THR to propagandize the Globes more than ever.) The HFPA surely won’t because it pockets an estimated $30 million in broadcast fees for the awards show. Only rarely in the last eight years has the winner of one of the Golden Globe best film prizes gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Then again, let’s not forget that, in 1968, the Federal Communications Commission accused the HFPA of misleading the public, alleging that Globe winners were determined by lobbying and who would show up to receive the award rather than blind poll. NBC subsequently refused to air the awards until 1974.
The only reason I can think of to tune in to the Golden Globes is for the jokes. I have no doubt that 2013’s hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will be hilarious. And, 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 the 2011 Golden Globes and said this about the HFPA. “I never really knew who those guys were. I’d always leave the press junkets going, ‘Who are those oddball characters in that room?’”