Golden Globe Awards carry on without stars or a telecast

Published 10 Jan, 2022 10:43am

The winners were announced on Hollywood Foreign Press Association's social media feeds.

Photo: AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File
Photo: AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File

The Golden Globe Awards, Hollywood’s so-called biggest party that regularly drew 18 million television viewers, was reduced to a live-blog Sunday night for its 79th edition.

The embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) proceeded with its film awards Sunday night without a telecast, nominees, a red carpet, a host, press or even a livestream. Instead, members of the HFPA and some recipients of the group’s philanthropic grants gathered at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for a 90-minute private event, announcing the names of the film and television winners on the organisation’s social media feeds.

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story won several big awards, for best picture comedy or musical, best actor for Rachel Zegler and best supporting actor for Ariana DeBose.

Netflix’s gothic Western The Power of the Dog was named best picture drama, along with other honours for Jane Campion’s direction and Kodi Smit-McPhee’s supporting performance.

Other film winners included Will Smith for King Richard, Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos and Andrew Garfield for tick, tick...BOOM! The Japanese film Drive My Car, also a critics’ group darling, got best non-English language motion picture, while Encanto won for animation.

Though announcing winners on social media might seem like a straightforward task, those following along on Twitter only might have been somewhat confused at times. The tweets often left out exactly which project a person had won for.

To announce the winner for best actor, motion picture musical or comedy, the organisation tweeted, “It takes 43 muscles to smile. Thanks for the workout Andrew Garfield and congratulations for taking home the #GoldenGlobe for Best Actor—Motion Picture—Musical/Comedy,” failing to mention that the award was for his turn in tick, tick...BOOM!

Other times, the tweets were just downright baffling. In announcing the West Side Story win, the group initially wrote, “If laughter is the best medicine West Side movie is the cure for what ails you” about the drama that’s full of death and tragedy. They later deleted the tweet and wrote a new one about “music” being the best medicine.

Television winners included: Sarah Snook and Jeremy Strong for Succession, which won best television drama, Jean Smart for Hacks, which also won best television comedy, Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso, Kate Winslet for Mare of Easttown, O Yeong-su for Squid Game and Michael Keaton for Dopesick. Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad got best limited series. The group said on its website that Pose star Michaela Jaé Rodriguez became the first trans person to win a Golden Globe.

None of the winners appeared to be present at the event, nor did they immediately comment on their awards.

Jamie Lee Curtis, however, chimed in with a video message shared on the group’s Twitter, talking about the HFPA’s charitable work.

“I just wanted to honour and stand with them in this continued advocacy,” Curtis said. “I’m proud to be associated with them in this venture.”

The HFPA enlisted leaders of the groups it has given grants to to announce the winners. Arnold Schwarzenegger chimed in with a video message as well, thanking the group for recognising him as the “new star of the year” in 1977.

That the organisation proceeded with any kind of event came as a surprise to many in Hollywood. The HFPA came under fire after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed in February ethical lapses and a stunning lack of diversity — there was not a single Black journalist in the 87-person group. Studios and PR firms threatened to boycott. Tom Cruise even returned his three Golden Globes, while other A-listers condemned the group on social media.