Yes, the Golden Globe nominations happened today. But who is paying attention?

Benedict Cumberbatch stands in an empty field with brown hills in the distance.
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the Netflix drama “The Power of the Dog,” which tied with the Focus Features release “Belfast” for the most Golden Globe film nominations this year.

In a normal year, the announcement of the Golden Globe nominations traditionally marks the moment that awards season kicks into high gear.

Stars would be up at the crack of dawn, hoping to hear their names read. Publicists and studios would be preparing a flurry of news releases to tout the nominees and coordinating reaction interviews for the contenders to share how “honored” they are. Awards prognosticators would be watching carefully for hints of which way the Oscar winds might be blowing.

Suffice to say, this is not a normal year.

Monday morning’s announcement of the 79th Golden Globe nominations came as the organization that hands out the awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., remains under a cloud. The usual glitzy, star-studded telecast presenting the awards has been scrapped for 2022 after a Times investigation in February that revealed the association had no Black members and detailed allegations of financial and ethical lapses within the group.

Still, the beleaguered HFPA forged ahead with this year’s nominations, hoping to preserve the viability of the awards until 2023, when NBC has said it hopes to broadcast them again. The HFPA is set to hand out its awards Jan. 9 at a yet-to-be-determined ceremony, though it is unclear at this point whether anyone will actually be present to accept them. (The event is scheduled for the same night as the rival Critics Choice Assn.’s awards, which will be simulcast on the CW and TBS.)

The beleaguered Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. announced the nominees for the 2022 Golden Globe Awards on Monday.

Dec. 13, 2021

Before announcing the nominations, HFPA President Helen Hoehne spoke of the steps the group had taken in recent months to deliver the “transformational change” it promised in March.


“This has been a year of change and reflection for the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.,” she said. “For eight months, we’ve worked tirelessly as an organization to be better. We changed our rules and bylaws, added a new code of conduct and restructured our governance. We also have 21 new members, the largest and most diverse in our 79-year-old history. Not only have they brought in a fresh perspective but ideas that will help us continue to evolve.”

Rapper Snoop Dogg — better known these days for doing commercials for Tostitos and Dunkin’ Donuts than for anything awards-related — was brought onstage to announce the nominations after more suitable prospects, including actor Gabrielle Union, turned the group down.

In a year in which the HFPA was largely cut off from its usual access to news conferences and screenings, the nominations themselves contained the group’s traditional mix of expected choices — including the feel-good movies “King Richard” and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” each of which earned several nods — and a handful of head-scratchers, such as Emma Stone’s surprise nod for actress in a musical or comedy for “Cruella.”

Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical “Belfast” and Jane Campion’s brooding western drama “The Power of the Dog” led the film field with seven nominations apiece, including motion picture drama, and HBO’s “Succession” topped the TV list with five nominations, including drama series.

A man and a woman in sunglasses stand talking with an airplane behind them.
Brian Cox and Sarah Snook were nominated for Golden Globes for HBO’s “Succession,” the year’s most-nominated television series.
(Hunter Graeme / HBO)

As expected, Netflix easily led the pack among film studios with 17 nominations (and an additional 10 on the TV side), powered by films such as “Don’t Look Up,” “The Power of the Dog” and “Tick, Tick … Boom!”

HBO and HBO Max topped the TV networks with 15 nominations, with film studio counterpart Warner Bros. landing eight additional nominations.

But in the hours after the nominations were unveiled, the reaction from Hollywood was near-universal silence. A few nominees — including Jessica Chastain, Jamie Dornan and Rachel Zegler — acknowledged their Globes recognition, as did the official Twitter accounts of Disney’s “Encanto,” “WandaVision” and “West Side Story,” but the majority simply ignored any mention.

In the run-up to the announcement, talent publicists and studios had come to the general consensus that it would be safer to avoid publicly being seen celebrating nominations from a group whose credibility has been tarnished.

As one studio executive told The Times in October: “We’ve always been supportive of the Globes as an organization, but we don’t want to just say something won, we want to make sure it means something. We want to get to a place where there are no asterisks or continuing questions about the awards.”

On social media as well, aside from scattered enthusiasm from fans of nominees such as Lady Gaga and Kristen Stewart, there was little of the usual frenzied reaction to the Globe nominations, with many probably unaware that they were even taking place. Meanwhile, even outlets usually friendly toward the Globes, including trade publications the Hollywood Reporter and Variety, spotlighted the controversy and skepticism that continues to swirl around the HFPA.


“Wait, we’re paying attention to the Golden Globes?” Rolling Stone TV critic Alan Sepinwall wrote on Twitter, capturing the confusion that many probably felt. “Now more than ever, why?”

Hours after the Globes announcement, the Critics Choice Assn. — which is hoping to dethrone the Globes, even as it faces questions about its credibility and governance — unveiled its movie nominations for this year’s Critics Choice Awards, with “Belfast” and “West Side Story” leading the contenders with 11 nominations each.

In a statement, Critics Choice Assn. Chief Executive Joey Berlin, who has been trying to capitalize on the HFPA’s stumbles, said, “All eyes are going to be on the Fairmont Century Plaza red carpet and ballroom on Jan. 9, when the biggest stars in movies and television will be gathered to celebrate the best of the best in entertainment this past year.”

Reaction to the Critics Choice nominations, which have never stirred much mainstream interest, was decidedly muted, however. Combined with lackluster box office numbers for many top awards season titles — including “West Side Story,” “King Richard” and “Belfast” — the response raises serious questions about just how tuned in audiences are to this year’s confused and upended awards landscape.

The HFPA has come under pressure for not having any Black members as well as allegations of ethical and financial lapses raised in a Times investigation.

April 21, 2021