In the ever-changing rules of a wildly unpredictable awards season, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced today a change, or slight bend, in the rules that govern their acting awards and it was sparked by Disney+’s The Mandalorian and its helmeted titular character.
According to the rules of the HFPA, “voice-only performances are not eligible in any acting category.” While this rule is largely in place to prevent animated film performances from competing against live action ones, the tale of The Mandalorian is a bit different. Pedro Pascal, who plays the titular character, spends seven of the first season’s eight episodes behind a helmet, essentially providing voiceover. He is revealed in the season finale and that was enough to prompt the HFPA to bend their rules. But, since The Mandalorian premiered last fall and was eligible for last year’s Golden Globes, the rule will only affect future shows and performances that fall under this slim ruling. This would have made Pascal fully eligible last year but without a formal announcement it’s unlikely Disney+ or Pascal’s reps would have made the effort to push him in the first place. For the record, Baby Yoda is and will not be eligible for supporting actor.
This is just one more tweak this year that includes the recent announcement by the HFPA that it will extend and alter eligibility rules as well as allow streaming-only films to compete as long as they had originally been meant for a theatrical release. They were the first awards organization to make this change and in light of it, the Oscars, Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild and Directors Guild all followed suit.
But wait, there’s more. Another rule change announced on Wednesday expanded the Golden Globes voter pool. While it currently sits at around 90 members, and has forever, lifetime members of the HFPA may also now vote. Strangely, there is nobody currently eligible for lifetime status, so it’s unclear what prompted this change. Similar to, but more stricter than the film Academy’s rule change a few years ago, members must be currently active for at least 40 years, or have been previously active for 30 years, and must also be over the age of 75 to qualify.
Also, the television side of the Golden Globes is adding ‘anthology’ to its descriptor for the Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category to make room for the large increase in anthology-based series’ – shows that season to season don’t feature the same storyline or characters like Netflix’s Black Mirror, HBO MAx’s Love Life or Amazon Prime Video’s Modern Love.
Although a date for the 2021 Golden Globes hasn’t been set (it’s usually the second Sunday in January), Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been announced to return as co-hosts.