DEI: Awards Shows

Last fall, we reported on several awards shows making changes and improvements as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts become more mainstream in Hollywood. In 2021, the Golden Globes, held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), made headlines as perhaps the awards show with the most room for improvement. By last October, HFPA had made important personnel changes to their board and we anticipated their next show to be in 2023 (since NBC dropped the telecast). But in November, HFPA hired Chief Diversity Officer, Neil Phillips, a public speaker and former basketball player, to take on the daunting task of helping HFPA  realize its diversity plan goals.

One encouraging aspect after reading about Mr. Phillip’s experience with HFPA is his recurring insistence of the sincerity and authenticity of the HFPA’s willingness to change. But even if change manifests entirely, others believe that the shakeup is really a wakeup call that the HFPA, a smallish group of 100 or so entertainment journalists – are really not the best augurs of taste allegedly because they do not have the time to pour over all of the content that is awards-worthy (if you doubt us, then check out our last issue where we talk about the content ennui at the EMMYs).

In rebuttal, HFPA president Helen Hoehne asserted to the press that she and her colleagues have “done the work” while reforming, and will continue to [review content] despite claims to the contrary that they are time-pressed to be holding an awards show worthy of similar recognition as the Academy Awards or SAG Awards, as an example. Nevertheless, the HFPA marched on and held an un-televised awards ceremony in January sans red carpet, in a private ballroom, with no press, celebrities, or fanfare, which is a big change from years past. Only time will tell if things improve for the 2023 awards season. For a list of this year’s Golden Globes winners – see this page. The full list of SAG awards winners may be found here.

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