, , , , , , , , , , ,

Image by Greg Clarke, Newyorker.com

Until recently the Golden Globe Awards were “best known for being Hollywood’s liveliest night out – as one of the first events kicking off the awards season calendar…” writes Liam Hess with Vogue.  But you can be forgiven if you missed the 78th Golden Globe Awards in last January, 2021; it was “virtual”, at least that is how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) put it:

It was an extraordinary year, a year of disruptions and immense challenges. The foundations of the industry suffered in these times of pandemia, and creativity found new ways to move forward. The 78th Golden Globes bear all these marks: a virtual event honouring talent, diversity, and strength…

And did you catch the 2022 version held this last weekend? Of course not; it wasn’t televised. NBC pulled out of the Globes in May, explaining in a statement,

“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”

They may be hopeful, but the viewing public has being losing hope, as Jackson Weaver writes, “award shows are in crisis as ratings have been dropping for years despite attempts at diversity and relevance.”

Virtual without being Virtuous

Virtually anything Hollywood touches ceases to be virtuous by virtue of its contamination with its culture of toxic entitlement. If you caught that little play on words, you might wonder how many ways “virtue” can be distorted. There’s culture, and then there’s the Petri Dish of disease that is Hollywood (and yes – I recognize my hyperbole is a distortion of its own).

It is a sad joke that over 100 Hollywood publicity firms decided to “cancel” their erstwhile cozy relationship with the Golden Globe Awards as it were, in order to distance themselves from those “not woke enough” for their fans.

It is a hollow self-aggrandizing spectacle that inserts no virtue into the industry. As the saying goes:

If you pour a glass of wine into a barrel of sewage… you still have a barrel of sewage.

If you pour a glass of sewage into a barrel of wine… you suddenly have a barrel of sewage.

No, not exactly a glass of wine

Nevertheless this group of more than 100 Hollywood elites stirred from their apathetic slumber to join in on an outrageous act of virtual signalling by writing a joint statement about their concerns:

We will continue to refrain from any HFPA sanctioned events, including press conferences, unless and until these issues are illuminated in detail with a firm commitment to a timeline that respects the looming 2022 season reality,” reads a statement released by the group of publicists on Friday. “We stand ready to collaborate with the HFPA to ensure that the next Golden Globes — be it in 2022 or 2023 — represents the values of our creative community. We are reminded of the HFPA’s 1943 motto, conceived by the original group of foreign journalists: ‘Unity Without Discrimination of Religion or Race.’ Seventy-eight years hence, your commitment to swift and deliberate action remains essential.

To this hypocrisy Hess writes, “some have questioned why it has taken so long for the industry to take action, given the accusations of corruption within the HFPA were something of an open secret in Hollywood… it came to light that the group was often wooed by studios through all-expenses-paid trips to visit sets or screenings abroad.”

One has to really wonder: what are the values of the creative community that these signatories talk about – given their obvious lack of them. Hasn’t it been the value of money over the value of virtue?

I suppose I should welcome this change of position as a signal that the Hollywood One Hundred are experiencing a true change of heart. You will excuse me for not holding my breath.

Entertainment Media not holding their breath either

In mid December the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominations for the 79th annual Golden Globe Awards (that would not be televised as noted) — and what followed was near radio silence. Variety reported:

“In the days leading up to the Golden Globe nominations, it was unclear what impact the announcement would have — and in the near 12 hours since the film and television nominations were revealed, the answer has been not much… the A-list talent that once flocked to its telecast is steering clear until more time has passed.

Only time will tell if the Golden Globes can be restored to their former luster.”

For a contrasting point of view on culture/entertainment, see Patrick Brzeski’s article, “South Korea and Japan emerge.”

It will take more than Time

It will take more than time to address the inherent coal vein-like rot that runs through our current “culture” industries. That the “industry” thinks time will tell, and that time will pass is an indication of their wait and see attitude. That is: wait and see how the winds of popular culture shift here or there. There is not one wit of concern about authenticity, truth, or beauty.

It will take more than time; it will take courage and a true change of heart – both of which can only occur when we respond to the One who made us for Himself.

This is More Enigma than Dogma