Los Angeles (AFP)

Are the Golden Globes in danger of disappearing?

The American channel NBC announced Monday that it would not broadcast the presentation ceremony next year for these prestigious awards, the organizers of which have been strongly criticized by studios and Hollywood stars for their record in terms of diversity and transparency.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a group of about 90 journalists who make up the Golden Globes jury, announced last week that it had adopted a series of reforms to improve its representativeness and try to calm the controversy fueled for months by accusations of discrimination, sexism or even corruption against certain members.

But those assurances failed to convince the entertainment industry, and the blame continued to rain through the weekend, until broadcaster NBC's fateful decision.

"We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, a change of this magnitude takes time and work and we have a distinct impression that the HFPA needs time to do this properly." , the channel said in a statement Monday.

"Therefore, NBC will not broadcast the 2022 edition of the Golden Globes," she added, stressing that she was "hopeful to broadcast the show in January 2023" if the organizers implement their reform agenda.

The announcement is a blow to the Golden Globes, whose funding is heavily dependent on the broadcast rights to the ceremony, and some entertainment industry watchers fear they may not be able to recover from it.

Most of the members of the HFPA are correspondents working regularly for media known and respected in their country, such as Le Figaro or El País.

But the reputation of this very unusual jury has suffered in the past from the presence of a handful of more surprising personalities, with episodic and confidential journalistic activity.

Above all, the organization has been repeatedly criticized for the lack of attention given to black or minority artists, often snubbed in the Golden Globes charts.

- "Sexist and racist questions" -

On Thursday, the association's members overwhelmingly approved a series of measures, including a 50% increase in their membership over the next 18 months, including the recruitment of black journalists, as well as the reform of the opaque and restrictive system governing admissions.

"The very majority vote to reform the Association today reaffirms our determination to change," HFPA President Ali Sar said.

"Because we understand the urgency and the challenge of transparency, we will continually update our members as we move forward to make our organization more inclusive and diverse," he wrote.

However, that was not enough to convince Hollywood.

Netflix and Amazon Studios have both said they are no longer interested in working with the HFPA until "significant" changes are made, while Warner Bros. Studios wrote to Ali Sar on Monday complaining that the HFPA's reform agenda. HFPA was "not going far enough".

Until further notice, Warner's film and television subsidiaries will "refrain from any direct interaction" with the organization, including with regard to star participation in events organized by the HFPA.

"We are only too aware of the energy that we had to deploy in order to obtain press conferences for a certain number of black performers and creators who undeniably carried works of value", deplores this letter, quoted by the specialized site Deadline.

"These same works have often gone unnoticed in your nominations and awards."

Additionally, Warner Bros. points to "press conferences where our artists have been confronted with racist, sexist and homophobic issues. For far too long, requests for perks, special favors and unprofessional requests have been made. to our teams and to other people "in the industry.

These statements echo those made by Scarlett Johansson, who this weekend explained that she refused to take part in HFPA press conferences for years because of "sexist questions and remarks" which "border on sexual harassment" according to the actress.

His colleague Mark Ruffalo recently declared that he could not feel "proud or happy" for the Golden Globe obtained last February for the series "I Know This Much Is True" from an organization with " culture of secrecy and exclusion ".

© 2021 AFP