This year’s Golden Globes are in the books! Now the lingering question is, what will next year’s “significant controversy” be? More importantly what hashtag can we rush to print on Spreadshirt to make a profit?
I am not belittling what is happening. I am afraid we are merely a #hashtag away from the next distracting headline. Forgetting, yet another serious issue to the noise of the internet.
In 2017, the Harvey Weinstein scandal ballooned into an international house cleaning. #meToo and the recently added #timesUp have made button and t-shirt producers a few dollars richer. I suppose anyone smart enough to buy futures in black fabric did ok, as well. But, what happens when the momentum is gone?
Last year’s speeches focused on people of color. #OscarsSoWhite was the trending hashtag. Rise up! The change is here. “We’re not gonna’ take it anymore” was no longer just a great Twister Sister 80’s fist-pumper! The speeches were on point, and Moonlight took down the jazz stealing La La Land. All was right in the world. Or was, is it?
For most, the party moves forward, but Denzel Washington still seems bitter about last year’s loss. His highlight moment came when he challenged the inane red-carpet sound bites delivered by most. Reminding everyone that it is critical to follow through regardless of what you are “wearing in solidarity.”
This year’s complaint, “a lack of female representation in traditionally male Hollywood positions.” What began as abuse complaints, has turned into a call to replace the male Hollywood elite with the female Hollywood elite. Perhaps a good idea. But, will it stick?
In many ways, Celebrity Award Shows are no better than American Idol, the Voice or America’s Got Talent. As viewers, we want to feel connected to celebrities. But, few of us armchair critics understand how it all works. In the end, the SAG, Globe and Oscar voters are just people with an opinion.
The Golden Globe Awards were created by a group of outsider foreign photographers and journalists, living in Southern California. They felt they lacked the same access to Hollywood insiders that local journalists received. In response, they banded together and formed the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
In 1944, they created the Golden Globes. Think of it as the geeks forming a club where they get to judge the cool kids at a big party that they host. In turn, the cool kids start inviting the geeks to their events.
It is a group limited to no more than 100 members. Currently, there are 93. They alone determine the nominations and the winners for the Golden Globes. Hollywood’s modified version of the US Electoral College. The HFPA’s current president is Ms. Meher Tatna. The names of the other members are somewhat tricky.
The average moviegoer is not familiar with race or sex of the director, screenwriter, producers, etc. of films. They gravitate to what interests them. Award recognition rarely parallels public taste.
Hollywood chases the dollar like any other business. Who gets nominated is a less of a global issue than it is the opinion of a tiny elite group. In this case 93 men and women!
That brings me to the Natalie Portman portion of the 75th Globe awards. I am sure I am in the minority for not cheering on Portman’s’ quip before announcing the best director nominees, ” and here are the all-male nominees.”
The men nominated are not responsible for women not being chosen. The people who paid for the champagne that Portman and everyone else was drinking are responsible, the HFPA. She could have supported female directors without stepping on the innocent to do so.
Had she said, “here are the HFPA’s list of all male nominees” she might have been slightly more justified. But she directed her venom at the nominees, not that nominators.
Guillermo del Toro won. In his acceptance, he did an admirable job thanking the diverse crew that worked on his film. His films show an artist that has worked hard to express himself through art. Sadly, his first Golden Globe win will always be asterisked by Portman’s disparaging comment.
It was also belittling and hurtful to her fellow artists. Many entertainers and artists compete at an artistic level, not on gender or race. Her comments turned the fight inwards. Hollywood is a male-dominated industry. But, everyday men and women, from mixed backgrounds, are creating art together.
There is vast room for improvement on equal pay and equal employment opportunities for similar skills. But, this is a labor-issue. Not a creative-issue. There is NO SUCH THING as “Best” anything. Awards are just opinions. Giving out accolades for anything other than the work itself would be insulting to the creators.
There are only so many awards. If a single film sweeps, it is controversial. However, if the awards are too spread out, the integrity suffers. It wreaks of everyone gets a trophy participation syndrome. Last year’s Oscar Winning best pictures, Moonlight failed to perform at the box office. The film received the academy’s top honor. A move, many felt to be politically motivated by the Academy.
Women, such as Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Dee Rees (Mudbound) wrote and directed important Hollywood films this year. Greta received praise via the best comedy award, but many still felt she was snubbed, not earning a director nomination.
If we want to support these women, who cares what 93 journalists think? We should go out and see these women’s movies! That is the only difference we can make. As individuals are the only voice in this matter is attending films. Bringing and leaving our hard-earned cash at the box office.
The quality of the art produced is the measure. Anything else is contrived. When we reward creativity under affirmative action type rules, we are doing a disservice to the creators. How will the artists know what is recognized, their gender, their skin color or their work?
I only wish Oprah could have spoken after, instead of before Portman. Honestly, no one should have spoken after Oprah. Her poignant comments were the highlight of the show and raised the roof, recognizing men and women working together.
“When that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, “Me too” again.” – OPRAH (Golden Globes 2018 Speech)
Over the next several days, critics, fans, and trolls will analyze every second of the event. Criticizing every misstep and simultaneously, loading up to take shots at the upcoming Oscars! But hashtags and the color of one’s clothes for one night do not make a difference.
To quote Denzel once again, “It’s important to see what’s happening a year from now.” If I were a betting man, in 2019, I’d be putting all my money into the presidential-hashtag #Oprah2020 to sweep the world, and possibly #TommyWiseauVeep
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