The Golden Globes undermine artistic appreciation


Graphic by Aidan Rogers ’22

The Golden Globes have been known for controversy beyond 2021. In years past, issues with hosts, controversial speeches, and celebrities’ post-drinking decision making have put the Golden Globes under scrutiny.

Art is objectively subjective. Shows and movies, while presented through screens and speakers, are first and foremost pieces of art. Having the film industry revolve around award shows changes the very nature of art from an individual experience to a judged product.

Perpetually dominated by white men and women, the film industry has reflected its age throughout the past decades. Sidney Poitier was the first black winner and nominee for a Golden Globe, winning in 1964 for “Lilies of the Field” after 20 years of Golden Globes ceremonies and hundreds of awards given. It took the Hollywood Foreign Press another 19 years to award another black man, Louis Gossett Jr., for “An Officer and a Gentleman”.

The 2021 award ceremony seemed it may have finally given itself a new face. Four Golden Globes, including the first two of the night, went to black actors and film contributors this year. Despite these historic victories, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had no Black representation within its 87 members.

While this extreme misrepresentation of the population is uncommendable, the investigation into the Hollywood Foreign Press Association begs the question: why do millions of viewers rely on the opinions of so few in the first place? 

Movies are no different from music, painting or sculptures in the sense that they mean something different to each person. A silly song to one person, is a dark and moody one to another. A painting of random shapes to one person, is an organized masterpiece to someone else. A great sculpture to one person, resembles the work of a toddler in a different person’s eyes.

Labeling what is ‘best’ through nominations and golden trophies makes success in the film industry finite.

— Aidan Rogers ’22

Labeling what is “best” through nominations and golden trophies makes success in the film industry finite. Only the talent and productions that make it up on stage, or on the zoom call, to make their acceptance speech are highlighted to be the favorites of the people. The movie and television companies will then mass advertise these productions, which exacerbates the power of the judges and limits exposure to other high quality performances. 

Furthermore, if Hollywood insists upon a distinction of who is best, there is no reason to delegate that decision to a self-selected group of non-black journalists.

The entertainment industry’s acknowledgement of a Golden Globe as a coveted prize is what gives it power. Instead of simply asking the HFPA to diversify, the top actors, actresses and directors should force change by refusing to recognize opinions that do not represent wider and more global artistic experiences.