Just two years ago, the Golden Globes were Hollywood’s most boisterous annual party. Booze flowed freely as the biggest A-list names came together to hand out and receive awards.
The ceremony were shown live on air every year for decades by NBC which paid up to $31 million a year to the organizers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), to air the extravaganza.
But now the party’s over. Sunday’s awards will have no celebrity hosts. There will be no TV viewers as NBC has pulled out. It won’t even be livestreamed.
Instead winners will be announced on the HFPA’s website.
Tinseltown’s love affair with the often sycophantic foreign press group is done.
Tom Cruise has returned his three awards. Scarlett Johansson has refused to take part in any more HFPA events citing ‘sexist questions’ from members that ‘bordered on sexual harassment’ and Avengers costar Mark Ruffalo has said he is not ‘proud or happy’ to have received a nomination.
Netflix and Amazon refuse to deal with the association until it is overhauled.
Snoop Dogg announced the nominees for this year’s Golden Globes in December. Now the ceremony itself will not be shown either on TV or livestreamed after controversies engulfed the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler during the 2021 awards show held later than usual on February 28 due to COVID
Rosamund Pike received the best actress award via video in 2021 , but this year the show will not have guests and the winners will be announced online
The 2021 show was hit by COVID restrictions meaning award winners accepted via video. Laura Dern virtually presented Daniel Kaluuya with the best supporting actor award for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah
The precipitous fall from grace for the Hollywood trade group came amid a series of scandals over its lack of diversity, alleged sexual misconduct among its leadership, and accusations of an endemic culture of gifts for gongs.
In 2018, actor Brendan Fraser came forward to claim that former HFPA president Philip Berk, 88, assaulted him at an HFPA luncheon in 2003 by grabbing his buttocks. Berk called the story ‘a total fabrication.’
In 2019 the nonprofit was slammed for failing to nominate any female directors for awards despite the critical and box office success of Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.
In 2020 a Norwegian journalist sued the HFPA for a ‘culture of corruption’ with members accepting ‘thousands of dollars in emoluments’ from the same studios to which they awarded gongs. A federal judge dismissed the case ruling the plaintiff Kjersti Flaa did not suffer damages.
Last year the LA Times revealed none of the HFPA’s 87 members were black, prompting it to recruit 21 new members. Six of the new recruits are black, 10 are women, six are Latinx, five are Asian and four are Middle Eastern or North African, according to the Globes.
The Globes have always been known for their laidback atmosphere as the free drink flowed. Here the Invictus table cheers on its nomination in 2010
Tom Cruise (pictured with Michelle Pfeiffer) handed back the Best Dramatic Actor Golden Globe he won in 1990 fo his role in Born on the Fourth of July
Cruise also returned the Globes he won for Jerry Maguire in 1997 (left) and Magnolia in 2000
Pushing the boat out: A giant bottle of champagne sits center table as the Titanic cast celebrated the movie’s four Golden Globes in 1998
Berk was also back in the spotlight in April, expelled from the organization for allegedly calling Black Lives Matter a ‘racist hate movement’ in an email.
The following month Scarlett Johansson declared she would not attend any HFPA events due to ‘sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment’.
Among the kickbacks highlighted in the LA Times investigation last February was a 2019 trip by 30 HFPA members to Paris with two nights at a $1,400-a-night hotel provided by the Paramount Network, the producers of Netflix’s Emily in Paris.
The show received two Golden Globes nominations.
More than 100 publicity agencies signed an open letter in March threatening to deny HFPA access to their clients without substantial reforms.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) – the nonprofit behind the Golden Globes – raised $32million in one year and grew its coffers by $15million but gave just $5.9million to charitable causes
A spokesman for the association told DailyMail.com it overhauled its ethics policies this year, banning members from accepting gifts from studios, asking them to declare conflicts of interest, imposing term limits on its board, and running diversity and anti-harassment training as often as once every two months.
But the changes were not enough for Netflix who also pulled the plug on their relationship with the Foreign Press Association in May.
‘We don’t believe these proposed new policies — particularly around the size and speed of membership growth — will tackle the HFPA’s systemic diversity and inclusion challenges, or the lack of clear standards for how your members should operate,’ Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote to the HFPA board in a letter obtained by entertainment news site Deadline.
Now DailyMail.com can reveal that the embattled organization, a nonprofit that trumpets its charitable grants, has been sitting on a $62million cash pile and gave out less than 10% in grants according to its most recent filings.
The HFPA raised $32million in one year and grew its coffers by $15million but gave just $5.9million to charitable causes, 2019 documents filed with the IRS reveal.
The nonprofit spent almost as much in salaries, spending $3.4million for paying its staff.
The HFPA said it is a nonprofit trade organization not a charity so it is not required to make donations, though it chooses to give millions to charitable causes.
Its latest accounts filed with the IRS for the year to June 2019 show that the 2018 Globes hosted by Seth Meyers brought in over $31million for the organization.
The IRS documents show that the nonprofit had $16.5million of expenses, leaving it with a $15.6million profit.
However, instead of donating the bumper year’s proceeds to charitable organizations and projects, it squirreled away $9.7million of its profits and spent just $5,891,320 on grants for good causes.
By the end of June 2019 the organization listed $54,970,637 in savings and temporary cash investments, earning six figures interest annually and their total assets were valued at over $62m.
Its current cash pile according to its latest accounts is now larger than the total the nonprofit has given to good causes in the past quarter century.
Mark Ruffalo said he was ‘neither proud nor happy’ that he had been nominated for a Globe in 2015 for Infinitely Polar Bear
Brendan Fraser (left) claimed former HFPA chairman Philip Berk assaulted him at an HFPA luncheon in 2003 by grabbing his buttocks. Berk called the story ‘a total fabrication
Scarlett Johansson declared she would not attend any HFPA events due to ‘sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment’
‘Over the past 25 years, the HFPA has donated $50 million to more than 70 entertainment-related charities, film restoration, scholarship programs and humanitarian efforts,’ its website claims.
A spokesman for the HFPA said it is a ‘nonprofit trade association’ rather than a charity, meaning that it is not obliged to make grants for charitable causes – but added that it regularly makes donations to good causes anyway.
HFPA rep James Lee said the nonprofit gives out more money to charity than other Hollywood trade associations such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars.
‘Even though we’re a trade association and not a charitable organization we still give a higher percentage of our net proceeds than any other comparable trade association,’ Lee told DailyMail.com
The HFPA said there is ‘nothing wrong’ with its money management and that it has kept ‘a certain amount [of cash] in reserve’ to cover unexpected costs, its plans to build a new office, and contingency in case they lose their main source of revenue: selling broadcast rights for the televised Golden Globes, as happened when NBC dropped the show this year.
Among HFPA’s charitable grants for 2018-19, was $120,815 for a 4K restoration of Fellini’s Roma, a 1972 comedy-drama set in Rome.
The HFPA gave $215,575 in grants for other film restorations and said it gave $500,000 to ‘help refugees’.
San Antonio, Texas-based charity the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services got $250,000 and environmental journalism charity Lost Light Projects Inc in Brooklyn, New York got $500,000.
Another $10,000 was given to progressive legal organization the ACLU and $5,000 for Los Angeles animal charity Actors and Other Animals, while $10,000 went to John Travolta’s Jett Foundation.
Some of its biggest expenses that year were fees related to jet-setting and partying.
One line item labelled ‘banquet’ cost the nonprofit $1,329,540, and is likely the catering costs for the Globes 2018 night where alcohol is free for its star-studded guests.
The drink was flowing even back in 1965 when Julie Andrew won Best Actress in a comedy or musical for Mary Poppins
Among HFPA’s grants for 2018-19, was $120,815 for a 4K restoration of Federico Fellini’s 1972 classic Roma
Last year’s Globes were pared back because of COVID as Salma Hayek and Sterling K. Brown demonstrated. This year’s will be even more demure
Tax documents obtained by DailyMail.com showed the HFPA spent $323.237 on ‘hospitality services’ from one company in 2018
It also spent $323,237 on ‘hospitality services’ from Cosmo Entertainment LLC. The company’s website says it organized an official Globes viewing and after party.
HFPA paid $1,369,173 in unspecified travel bills and $529,855 for ‘conferences, conventions, and meetings’.
Lee said the half million was spent on catering at the ‘hundreds’ of press conferences held by the HFPA each year, adding that HFPA’s travel bills came from ‘paying for members to do travel to allow them to do their jobs.’
‘We’ve always paid for members of the HFPA to attend press junkets and festivals and other activities that allow them to write their stories,’ he said.
Legal fees totaled $1,507,018, including about $1,267,342 to Latham & Watkins and $239,676 to Rodriguez, Horii, Choi & Cafferata, a law firm specializing in charity taxes and ‘tax controversy and planning’.
The HFPA said it faced increased legal bills that year as it was renegotiating its contract with NBC.
The 2018-19 accounts showed staff costs totaled $3,436,322. The COO Gregory Goeckner was paid $250,866 and financial manager Zoya Malinskata $114,307.
Late chairman Lorenzo Soria earned $73,000 for 23 hours weekly, and then-HFPA president Meher Tatna’s salary was $175,000 for a 19 hour work week, equating to $177 an hour.
The HFPA passed on $1,934,000 to its sister organization, the HFPA Charitable Trust, which paid out almost all of the grant in scholarships and other charitable disbursements.
The organization’s IRS filings say its mission is to ‘establish favorable relations and cultural ties between foreign countries and the USA by the dissemination of information concerning the American culture.’
Although the HFPA is considered a global nonprofit, most of their money is spent in the US. Over 70 percent of charities and causes it funds are within 75 miles of LA, where most of its members are based.