The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who put on the annual Golden Globe Awards, have announced some big changes in eligibility for the Best Motion Picture categories, a name change for their “foreign language” film section as well as some changes to television eligibility despite any 2022 awards telecast happening or not.
After two years in a row of controversy over non-English language films produced by U.S. companies being relegated to the formerly named Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language category (Minari this year, The Farewell and Parasite last year), the org is now allowing those films to compete in either Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Minari went on to be Best Picture nominated at the Oscars and win Supporting Actress for Youn Yuh-jung, who was not Golden Globe-nominated. The Farewell won Awkwafina (above) the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe but was snubbed at the Oscars. Parasite won the Globe for Foreign Language Film and then went on to become the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture Oscar.
“As we reexamined our guidelines this year and listened to the industry, we decided to adopt new approaches for future shows ensuring these films receive the attention they deserve,” said Ali Sar, President of the HFPA. “Language will no longer be a barrier to recognition as the best.”
The same rule against animated films was also lifted and they now once again may be entered in those categories as well as their specialized category. Animated films were allowed to compete in Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy as recently as 17 years ago and three have won, all Disney or Pixar: Toy Story 2 (1999), The Lion King (1994) and Beauty and the Beast (1991). Under the 2007 revised rules of the HFPA, animated pictures were no longer eligible in this or the category of Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, instead competing exclusively in the new category of Best Animated Feature Film.
But this is only an academic controversy for the group, which has been under intense scrutiny for its lack of inclusivity, including having no Black members. The HFPA announced in May that it is working on what they called “transformational reforms” but it was not enough and not fast enough as multiple studios including Amazon Studios, Netflix and Warner Media along with over a dozen publicist groups severed ties with the them until they were able to demonstrate timely, lasting reform and change. But the hammer really fell when NBC, who airs the Golden Globes for a hefty fee, announced they would not air the show in 2022 due to a lack of sufficient and fast reform. It is not known if the HFPA will still continue with this season’s awards but with this announcement today they seem to be barreling forward regardless of airtime or not. Last week, they thwarted attempts by the Critics Choice Association of using the famed Beverly Hilton ballroom where the Globes are normally held. The CCA have already taken the Globes’ awards date of January 9.
The HFPA also announced that the majority of the membership has completed diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions but have not provided any details of what those sessions consisted of.
Here is the complete of changes announced by the HFPA today.
- Non-English language motion pictures are now eligible for the Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy awards if they meet the eligibility requirements for those awards (i.e. release in the Los Angeles area during the relevant eligibility period).
- Animated motion pictures are now eligible for the Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy awards if they meet the eligibility requirements for those awards (i.e. release in the Los Angeles area during the relevant qualifying period).
- Renaming “Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language” award to “Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language.”
- Productions of stage plays, operas, concerts, and other live events recorded on a theatrical stage or other similar venue (i.e. not adapted for production as a motion picture or television program) are now considered documentaries and are not eligible.
- Refining the definition of foreign television programs (programs produced principally outside the United States) which are eligible only if they are a co-production (both financially and creatively) with a United States partner and defined a “United States partner.”
- Requiring that all eligible episodes of television series must be a minimum of twenty (20) program minutes.
- Updating the Golden Globe ballot certifications each member makes to comply with HFPA’s current conflicts disclosure requirements.
Photo: Peter Dutton