There has been some debate over the past year about whether or not celebrity award shows have a future. Often an excuse for the wealthy, beautiful and powerful to gather and let loose, these award ceremonies carry less and less weight in today’s world. They’re also running up against society’s progress which demands more diversity and equal representation – something many of these shows are notoriously poor at. So this year’s Golden Globe was met with a lack of enthusiasm even before COVID forced a change in format – but the awards they handed out did recognize some really stellar people and pieces of art. We’re taking a look at who won – and why this year’s ceremony almost didn’t take place.  

A Somber Affair

Golden Globes

No red carpet. No hosts. No on-stage banter and off-stage debauchery. But at least there was a livestream, right? Wrong. The 2022 Golden Globe awards was a bizarre, somber, subdued affair. Hollywood’s biggest bash turned into a gathering of Hollywood Foreign Press Association members in the Beverly Hilton Hotel – and they tweeted out the winners. 

Ostensibly, the switch was due to COVID and a desire to keep people safe. But the real reason runs far more deeply – and we’ll get to that in a minute. First we have to touch on the frankly bizarre tweet announcements that spelled this year’s Golden Globes story. One would assume that if they were pinning the future of an entire awards ceremony on a number of tweets, they’d hire someone with a little wit and charm. Apparently, the HFPA didn’t get that memo.

The tweets were lackluster, dull, occasionally left out what a person had won for and in at least one case – breathtakingly wrong. CBS News reports, ‘In announcing the ‘West Side Story’ win, the group wrote, ‘If laughter is the best medicine @WestSideMovie is the cure for what ails you’ about the drama that’s full of death and tragedy. That tweet was soon deleted.”

Oops? 

The Winners

Will Smith

Nonetheless, we did eventually find out who won. From Will Smith to Andrew Garfield, Encanto to Nicole Kidman and everyone in between – it was a year of superstar power, even if the presentation was a little off.  Here is a list of some of our favorites:

  • Best Motion Picture, Drama: The Power of the Dog. This movie won against heavy-hitters like Dune and King Richard, a bit of a surprise. 
  • Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical: Steven Spielberg‘s West Side Story
  • Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog. Campion showed that winning movies come from winning directors.
  • Best Animated Picture: Encanto. If you’ve been humming, “We don’t talk about Bruno-no-no,” under your breath since Christmas, this Colombian delight winning won’t surprise you. Lin Manuel Miranda worked his magic again and no one can stop singing. 
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos. Lucille Ball‘s shoes are big ones to fill but Kidman proves again that character dramas are her forte. 
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama: Will Smith, King Richard. Smith seems to be like a fine wine, getting better at acting with age and his performance as the titular role proved that he’s at the top of his game. 
  • Best Performance By An Actress In a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical: Rachel Zigler, West Side Story
  • Best Performance By An Actor In a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical: Andrew Garfield, tick, tick…BOOM!
  • Best Television Series, Drama: Succession
  • Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical: Hacks

Every actor and actress, director, movie or show that won was remarkable in a year of remarkable entertainment. It’s a shame that the show’s controversy distracted from their honors. 

Why It Almost Didn’t Happen

Golden Globes

In fact, the show almost didn’t happen at all because of accusations leveled against the organizing body – the HFPA (the Hollywood Foreign Press Association). It all started with an exposé and ended in the group ducking their heads in shame, or so it would seem. 

CBS explains, “That the organization proceeded with any kind of event came as a surprise to many in Hollywood. The HFPA came under fire after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed in February ethical lapses and a stunning lack of diversity — there was not a single Black journalist in the 87-person group. Studios and PR firms threatened to boycott. Tom Cruise even returned his three Golden Globes, while other A-listers condemned the group on social media.”

Celebrities, past winners, and fans of the show banded together to put pressure on the HFPA and demand change. In March of 2021, the HFPA vowed to make improvements. That would have been wonderful – if member and former president Philip Berk hadn’t opened his mouth just a month later. Berk labeled Black Lives Matter a, “racist hate movement,” exactly the opposite of the look you want after being accused of racial discrimination. NBC condemned Berk and he was expelled, but the damage was done – again.

Studios such as Netflix and Amazon announced that they would boycott the Golden Globes and NBC announced that they would not air the show – which leads us to the bizarre tweets. It was surprising to pretty much everyone when the HFPA announced they would still be holding the Globes, but the subdued and under-the-radar way they presented them shows that they’re at least self-aware enough not to be in anyone’s face about moving forward. However, they probably would have benefitted from taking 2022 off and working on rooting out the problems in their nominating committees and membership diversity.  The group has since passed by-laws to improve things, but it will remain to be seen if they’re ever forgiven. Considering that the Globes are one of the poorest predictors of who will go on to win the big deal – the Oscar – this show may well have reached the end of its usefulness. Hollywood’s greatest will have to find another show to dance on tables and enjoy some good old-fashioned debauchery at.