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Time to scrap the Golden Globes and start over with a smarter, sounder awards show

Instead of waiting and hoping for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to repair itself, the most trusted people in show business could set up a ceremony everyone would trust.

Golden Globe winners James Cameron (from left), Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey all have the credibility to help build a better awards show.

Nearly every year when the Golden Globes came bounding through Hollywood, I would remind folks they were basically a joke. Just a smattering of examples:

  • “Of all the awards shows, this is the stupidest — but they treat it like a big event in Hollywood.” — 1996
  • “The Golden Globes are the silliest of all the ‘major’ show biz awards. They’re the creation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of approximately 90 entertainment journalists, some of whom don’t even work full time as writers.” — 1998
  • “The Golden Globes should rank somewhere below the MTV Movie Awards and above the Nickelodeon Awards.” — 2002

Etc., etc., through the 2000s and the 2010s and up to present day. (I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. You didn’t deserve that.)

It was recently announced NBC was dropping the Golden Globes for at least one year after a Los Angeles Times investigation revisited the Globes’ long history of ethical lapses and noted the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s complete lack of Black members. The report also chronicled some recent dubious dealings, including a lavish, all-expenses paid junket to the set of “Emily in Paris.” Meanwhile, five-time Globes nominee Scarlett Johansson issued a statement recalling “sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment,” Netflix and Amazon said they would cease doing business with the HFPA until it stepped up its efforts to reform, and Tom Cruise said he returned the three Golden Globes he had won. Last week, Variety published an article in which Black journalist Samantha Ofole-Prince shared details of being rejected by the HFPA in 2013.

Perhaps the HFPA will truly change its ways and institute policies that require its voting membership to be legitimate entertainment journalists and film critics. Perhaps. But why should Hollywood wait around a year or longer to see what happens? No industry is better at congratulating itself — so why not wave goodbye to the Golden Globes and its decades-long sketchy history, and establish a new awards show that will have instant credibility if all the studios and the major stars get behind it? The Globes don’t have a copyright on a looser, champagne-fueled ceremony that takes place a month or so before the Oscars. This new awards show can incorporate some of the more entertaining aspects of the Globes — e.g., round tables instead of stadium seating, open bar throughout the telecast, irreverent hosts — while holding a better reputation thanks to a much more prestigious and inclusive voting group.

The name can be simple: The Television and Movie Awards, a.k.a. the TAMMYs.

NBC — or for that matter, another network or streaming platform — can pony up the seed money to jump start the organization and maintain the rights to carry the show live next February. (According to the New York Times, NBC was paying $60 million a year for broadcast rights to the Globes. SIXTY MILLION!) We’re gonna need a board of directors, and here’s my partial dream list of members:

James Cameron

Joel and Ethan Coen

Ava DuVernay

Jon Favreau

Kevin Feige

Dwayne Johnson

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Spike Lee

Lorne Michaels

Barack and Michelle Obama

Jordan Peele,

Tyler Perry,

Brad Pitt,

Shonda Rhimes

Steven Spielberg

Quentin Tarantino

Oprah Winfrey

Dick Wolf

Boom! Instant cred.

In addition to an annual trophy presentation show, this organization will award scholarships and grants to aspiring filmmakers; encourage respect and tolerance and diversity throughout the industry and host screenings and Q-and-A’s with filmmakers and actors. From time to time, the board will issue statements on developments within the film industry and call for changes on various issues, e.g., we really need to revisit the MPAA’s outdated and inconsistent ratings system.

As for the voting membership: Unlike the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with its clique of approximately just 90 members, the TAMMYs would have at least 1,000 members, including actors, directors, producers — and film critics from legitimate outlets such as Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and you think I wasn’t going to mention the Chicago Sun-Times? A small group of movie fans — let’s say 5% of the total vote — would also receive ballots, with a new group of movie lovers rotated in every year.

Oscar Micheaux would be the ideal namesake for a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sun-Times file

We’d stick to the traditional categories for television and film (and yes, we’ll keep the “Musical or Comedy” entry from the Globes), but we’d add awards for Best Stunt Work, Best Casting Director and Best Voice Performance in an Animated Film. The Lifetime Achievement Award could be named after Oscar Micheaux, the first major Black filmmaker and director of such films as “The Homesteader” (1919), “Within Our Gates” (1920) and “The Exile” (1931).

With all due and great respect to the technical categories and short films, those awards will be handed out in a separate luncheon a week before the TAMMYs — so the telecast itself with be a streamlined, two-hour show with about 20 awards.

The time is right for the TAMMYs.