NBC dumps the Golden Globes: Network axes 2022 ceremony over lack of diversity as Tom Cruise returns his three awards and list of celebrities boycotting the HFPA grows

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  • NBCUniversal will not air the 2022 Golden Globes after warning the ceremony’s awarding body the Hollywood Foreign Press Assortation needs to ‘reform’ 
  • The HFPA – secretive body is comprised of 87 journalists – is accused of underrepresenting and mistreating black and LGBTQ artists 
  • Tom Cruise protested the group by returning all three of his Golden Globes 
  • NBCU said HFPA ‘needs time’ to ensure meaningful reform is done ‘right’
  • The network’s new president Susan Rovner also admitted ratings were a concern
  • Viewing figures slumped from 18.3 million in 2020 to just 6.9 million in 2021
  • COVID-19 closed cinemas; other fans have condemned preaching by celebrities
  • A NBCU spokesman said they hope to air the show again in January 2023
  • One former HFPA’s president was booted for emailing an article to his fellow members that described Black Lives Matter as a ‘racist hate movement’
  • HFPA hasn’t commented on NBC’s decision 

NBC won’t air the Golden Globes next year, it said in a surprise announcement that also admonished the organization which administers the awards to overhaul its practices after it emerged it has no black members.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is the body that awards the Golden Globes, has been stung by criticism from black directors and others in the entertainment industry for its lack of diversity and secretive dealings. It had said last week that it would embark on big reforms. 

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Still, NBCUniversal said Monday it wouldn’t air next year’s awards. The decision comes also as ratings have taken a nosedive.    

In a statement released Monday, an NBCUniversal spokesman said: ‘We continue to believe that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right.

‘As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes,’ the spokesperson said. ‘Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.’ 

Stars including Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo are among those who have taken the HFPA to task. And Tom Cruise protested the group by returning all three of his Golden Globes, JustJared reported. The actor picked up wins for his roles in Jerry Maguire, Born on the Fourth of July and Magnolia.  

The secretive HFPA is comprised of 87 journalists, with the Los Angeles Times revealing earlier this year that not a single of its members is black.   

NBC axed next year’s Globes after the ceremony’s ratings fell to just 6.9 million in 2021 – down by two thirds of the 18.3 million who tuned in in 2020. The Peacock network has aired the ceremony annually since 1996. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter also published on Monday, NBCU’s new boss Susan Rovner also hinted tanking ratings were a concern.

Speaking before NBCU made its formal announcement, Rovner said of the Globes: ‘They are expensive. All ratings are declining, and I don’t know if this is a symptom of COVID. Is it this moment in time or is it forever? 

‘We have another year before we get a real sense of that. But if it’s not getting good ratings, I don’t know that we’re going to want it — even if they get cheaper.’

It is one of a number of ceremonies – including the Oscars – that saw ratings slump as COVID-19 shuttered cinemas and viewers were turned off by preaching speeches from stars. 

The viewership for the telecast in February, where ‘Nomadland’ and ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ won top film honors, dropped by 60 per cent to 6.9 million viewers, NBC News reported. 

Monday’s decision follows this recent news that WarnerMedia, Netflix and Amazon cut ties with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association because they said they didn’t have faith that the non-profit group could reform.

At this point, it isn’t clear if NBC will still be on the hook for HFPA’s $60 million annual fee for the 2022 right to air Golden Globes or if another network will buy the rights.  

DailyMail.com called the HFPA for comment. The HFPA’s most recent Twitter statement did not mention the drama, but instead rounded-up box office figures for newly released movies. 

Among the issues for the organization are others outlined in a  The Los Angeles Times investigation in February that included allegations of racism, sexism, bullying and corruption.  

Last week the group approved a raft of reforms to become ‘more inclusive and diverse’ by an ‘overwhelming’ margin, hoping to draw a line under months of negative publicity.                

The LA Times said it interviewed more than 50 people – including studio publicists, entertainment executives and seven current and former members – and dug into court filings as well as internal financial documents and communications. 

The paper said its investigation ‘paints a picture of an embattled organization still struggling to shake its reputation as a group whose awards or nominations can be influenced with expensive junkets and publicity swag.’ 

The investigation also found that the nonprofit HFPA regularly hands out ‘substantial payments’ to its members.   

Last month, on April 20, the HFPA expelled Philip Berk, a 44-year member of the nonprofit and an eight-term past president, after he emailed an article to his fellow members that described Black Lives Matter as a ‘racist hate movement.’

The HFPA said it ‘vowed’ to do better and make substantial reforms. 

The group retained a diversity specialist and consulted with crisis management expert Judy Smith, who inspired Scandal’s Olivia Pope, although Smith quit as a consultant, according to the Hollywood Reporter.  

The night Berk was given the boot, the HFPA issued this statement to the Hollywood Reporter: 

‘Since its inception, the HFPA has dedicated itself to bridging cultural connections and creating further understanding of different backgrounds through film and TV. The views expressed in the article circulated by Mr. Berk are those of the author of the article and do not — in any way shape or form – reflect the views and values of the HFPA. The HFPA condemns all forms of racism, discrimination and hate speech and finds such language and content unacceptable.’

In NBC’s eyes, it didn’t do enough to warrant an airing of the Golden Globes. 

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