For those who may have speculated that the Critics Choice Association will move their long-planned Critics Choice Awards 2022 date of Sunday January 9 after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Friday their intention to present their 79th Golden Globe Awards on the same night, well, think again.
In an email to the 500+ membership of the Critics Choice Association today, CEO Joey Berlin has reinforced the organization’s intention to stick to that date, noting that except for the COVID-19 affected 2021 awards, the group has steadily been doing its nationally televised (now on The CW) show on the second Sunday of January.
It had been rumored in recent weeks that the HFPA, whose 2022 telecast was canceled by NBC and dropped by its producer, Dick Clark Productions, was going to attempt to go ahead with presenting the Golden Globes anyway in some form, even if not televised. Speculation has led to some sort of press conference at the Beverly Hilton ballroom, where the event is always held. But yesterday’s announcement did not specify anything other than the fact their “presentation” would be held on January 9th, the same date CCA announced for their show back on a May 12 press release.
In a letter to publicists from new President Helen Hoehne and interim CEO Todd Boehly obtained by Deadline (Boehly’s company, Eldridge, includes Dick Clark Productions among its assets) that also announced their previously unstated intention to go ahead and present their awards, they simply said they are “still evaluating and determining details of the evening.” In other words, stay tuned (but apparently not to NBC, if the network sticks to its guns and won’t consider airing the Globes until 2023 at the earliest).
The HFPA has, of course, been embroiled in scandal over their previous restrictive membership policies among other things, including controversial compensation for members, as detailed first in a February 21st LA Times expose of the group’s practices.
Under heavy pressure and a publicists boycott, and stars like Tom Cruise publicly vowing to return their Golden Globes, the HFPA has been immersed ever since in an attempt to reform the group’s bylaws and diversify the membership (As the LAT investigation pointed out, there were no Black members), while also “vetting” current members as legitimate journalists covering the entertainment industry.
Berlin, in his memo to members (full disclosure: I am a longtime member and have also steadily covered the Globes and the HFPA as an entertainment journalist over the decades) said: “The purpose of this memo is to reassure every CCA member that our 27th annual Critics Choice Awards show is going to be our biggest and best yet, and can only be helped by this hostile announcement from the new leadership of this other group. If it is appropriate, I encourage you to share the gist of this message with your viewers, listeners, readers, and followers, the louder, the better. Our friends in the industry understand all of the above, but it would be wonderful if the greater public did, too.”
The CCA CEO did not hold back, but actually emphasized he felt the “scandal-ridden Hollywood Foreign Press Association move is a plus for the Critics Choice Awards. “I believe this desperate move by the HFPA to try and undercut the Critics Choice Awards and the tremendous support we are receiving from all the major studios, networks, and streamers is…really good for us! For years, we’ve been trying to draw the comparison between the tainted HFPA and the legitimate Critics Choice Association – which has five times as many members and no stink. Our awards are the considered judgment of almost 500 active critics and entertainment reporters who cover film and television and collectively reach virtually every entertainment consumer in the US and Canada every day,” he wrote.
How all of this brewing battle will play out on January 9 is a big question. But it certainly ratchets up the drama, and will put potential nominees and winners in an awkward spot if they have dueling awards shows to deal with, along with the publicists who have vowed not to cooperate with the HFPA until their are satisfied their house is in order. As they say in the business: to be continued.
Here is the complete memo to members of the Critics Choice Association: