This year, comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the 78th Golden Globes awards. However, even the hugely popular comedians seemed unable to save the event. The 78th Golden Globes award show drew only about 6.9 million viewers— a 63% drop from last year’s numbers, according to CNBC. The show, which was watched by over 18.4 million people in 2020, is now facing backlash over inclusivity, and has had a plethora of problems dealing with COVID restrictions. All of these factors have culminated into one of the most poorly rated renditions of the event which has defined Hollywood since its inception.
Even before the show began, the 78th Golden Globes Awards were plagued by controversy. It’s host organization, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), received widespread criticism after an LA Times investigation revealed that the organization had no black members in it. This revelation made other industry groups, such as GLAAD and SAG-AFTRA, publicly call out the organization with hashtags trending on social media such as: #TIMESUPGlobes. The lack of representation made people question why several prominent Black-led films, such as “Da 5 Bloods” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” failed to earn nominations for best picture this year, according to USA Today.
Throughout the night, this cloud of controversy seemed to never really go away. And the only thing that seemed to really distract the audience from this elephant in the room was the many technical difficulties that emerged from trying to broadcast the show ‘remotely.’
As the coronavirus continues to rage throughout the United States, it became obvious early on that this show was going to be very different from its predecessors. In an attempt to navigate COVID restrictions, nominees were honored in their homes, and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the event from two separate coasts. The result of this was a show that was marred by technical difficulties. At times, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would occasionally talk over each other, and parts of the show felt more like a private Zoom meeting than a red-carpet event.
While some of the nominees tuned in with crystal clear video streams, others came in wonky and grainy, and had audio and visual technical difficulties. When Daniel Kaluuya was honored with the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah, his audio didn’t seem to be working. When his microphone finally started working again he jokingly stated: “You did me dirty,” to announcer Laura Dern before saying: “I’ll save all that for the HFPA,” one of many references to the inclusivity scandal.
While the technical difficulties which overshadowed the event will likely be resolved next year, when the world (hopefully) begins to get back to normal, the lasting consequences of the inclusivity scandal are likely to continue to plague the show— unless, of course, the HFPA makes a concerted effort to respond to the criticism. The HFPA has already announced that they will be making a “transformational change” over the course of the next couple of months, and will be focusing on adding more Black and other underrepresented industry professionals into the group. The question remains though: Is this too little too late?