As the anniversary of the day our world stopped looms ahead, we continue to watch the world adapt and conform to new ways of living. Award show season recently proved to be a prime example of this. In attempts to keep normalcy alive, these award shows have been given the green light for 2021, though they will be different, highlighting how drastically our world has changed in the last year.
The Golden Globes aired last Sunday, and despite all the hard work and arguably good intentions to continue as normally as possible this year, it was no surprise that the show was met with controversy. From small scale technical difficulties, to the emotional posthumous win of actor Chadwick Boseman, to the hosts addressing the lack of diversity in the HFPA (Holly- wood Foreign Press Association), the Golden Globes certainly had its fair share of conflict.
Though there was no other choice but to hold a socially distanced event, I have to say it made for a particularly miserable watch that proved only to remind me of how radically our lives have changed. While there were plenty of well-intentioned steps taken, including creating an audience full of solely first responders, the fact that the hosts and other celebrity presenters and nominees were not physically present did nothing but open opportunities for awkward moments, technical glitches and lost meanings behind important or humorous messages.
Needless to say, the significant decrease in ratings and viewings for this year’s Golden Globes are not to be met with surprise based on the quality of television displayed. In contrast to previous years of block- buster film submissions, a majority of nominations came from streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. This new culture of viewing begs the question of whether movies will ever be released in theaters again, or whether they will go directly to these streaming services from now on.
Perhaps adding to the lackluster viewing is the fact that many house- holds do not have subscriptions to the ridiculous number of streaming services available. That is to say, many of the nominated shows and movies most likely have not been watched by a majority of viewers, which probably makes for a particularly bland watch. Though credit should be given to
the Golden Globes for its attempts at creating a smooth and lighthearted Sunday night program, unfortunately it fell short in many ways.
On a more positive note, a beautiful and sentimental moment of the show occurred when the late Boseman won the Golden Globe for his work in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bot- tom” and his widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award in his place. This deeply meaningful point of the show proved to be a glimmer in an otherwise muggy and technically bogged down program that reminded us of the amazing work the talented actor had done in his life.
A final and major controversy that swept the Golden Globes was when hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for its lack of diversity. This jab proved to be the only serious outburst about the situation, given that few presenters and award recipients dared to utter a word and instead avoided referencing or commenting on the atrocious lack of diversity.
While the HFPA has since released statements regarding the situation, these sentiments are riddled with please-worthy jargon that does little if anything to convince that it will make necessary changes. President Ali Star saying, “we look forward to a more inclusive future,” seems to blatantly disregard how serious inclusivity is, especially in times where organizations like Black Lives Matter have worked so hard to give people a voice.
Hopefully, the outrage that has poured out since the awards night will force the HFPA to make a major shift. With this headlining Golden Globes controversy, it looks as though we will be biting our nails in anticipation for the Grammys and Oscars to air, and moreover praying that 2022 will restore our good faith in awards shows.