February 2015
Volume 35 No. 2

February 2015
View complete issue as a PDF»


The new challenge for the Golden Globe Awards stems from the fact that they place more emphasis on gossip than on the movies. Turning the Awards into another reality show ceremony is no good for the Globes or the movies.

By Dom Serafini

In October 1992, VideoAge was the first to publish an article about helping to save the then-precarious existence of the Golden Globes (then called the Globe Awards).

With the title “Save HFPA” (the acronym stands for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group of foreign correspondents based in Los Angeles that organizes the Golden Globes) VideoAge emphasized the merits of the association, which was founded in 1943. The article also pointed out how the awards had fallen out of favor with the American entertainment industry, citing the opinion of an important Hollywood publicist: “If you ask a man in the street what is a Golden Globe, he probably wouldn’t be able to tell you.”

Fast forward 23 years and the Golden Globes have become almost as popular as the Oscars, both in the U.S. and around the world. Plus, since the Globes precede the February Oscars broadcast by six weeks, often the Globes winners predict the Oscar winners.

The success of the Globes, however, could be under threat again, and this time it’s a victim of its own success, with its pop culture relevance eclipsing the shows and movies.

The recent Golden Globes, broadcast live on the NBC TV network at 8 p.m. in New York City (5 p.m. in Los Angeles), were preceded by two hours of broadcast preliminaries: the Pre-Show at 6 p.m and the Red Carpet Show at 7 p.m. During these two hours, the films and television programs in competition became of secondary importance. The hosts’ commentary was all about the dresses and their designers, the ample cleavage and the actors’ newest romantic involvements. Then, during the actual awards ceremony, the emphasis shifted to humor, irony and mockery of the celebrities in attendance. We were reminded of the movies and television programs in competition only during the short presentations before the opening of the envelopes — and even then just for a few seconds.

And if the Awards themselves did not provide enough triviality, for the rest of the week the printed press, radio shows, online blogs and especially gossip television programs did nothing but report on what went on behind the scenes, in particular the various “wardrobe malfunctions” (a code word for mostly staged reveals), taking hours to describe (e.g., Jennifer Lopez’s underwire bra was visible).

Another episode during the ceremony that received much attention was the emotional praise that Michael Keaton gave his adult son, which had nothing to do with the film for which he won the Best Actor Award (Birdman, in case you were wondering). The blame for the various “malfunctions” and emotional reactions was attributed to the consumption of a large amount of tequila, which was offered by George Clooney (he’s the producer along with Rande Gerber, Cindy Crawford’s husband). Clooney was also targeted by the gossip media for his schmaltzy declaration of love for his wife, who was in turn praised for her humanitarian activities and criticized for the long white gloves she wore.

At the Globes, movies and television shows that received awards seemed unimportant and this, in the long run, could again cause viewers to lose interest in the Globes and in movies (intended as cinematic experiences), considering the continuing drop in ticket sales at the box office. Hollywood is warned!