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Many remain wary of the group behind the Golden Globe awards

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Golden Globe nominations have been announced this morning, but things are going to be different for these awards this year. For one thing, they will not be televised. Earlier this year, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times raised questions about who chooses the winners and how. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has been following the story and joins us. Hey, Mandalit.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Hey, Rachel.

MARTIN: So before we get to the nuts and bolts of the controversy, what happened with the nominations?

DEL BARCO: Well, they were announced early this morning, and right away you could tell that this year's Golden Globes are very different. They brought out rapper Snoop Dogg, who's mainly played himself in the movies and on TV, and he read the names of some of the nominees, like this one for best director, motion picture.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SNOOP DOGG: Kenneth Branagh, "Belfast." Jane Campion, "The Power Of The Dog." Maggie Gyllenhaal, "The Lost Daughter." Steven Spielberg, "West Side Story." Denis Villeneuve, "Dune."

DEL BARCO: Actually, "Belfast" and "Power Of The Dog" each got seven nominations, both including best motion picture, drama. And on the TV side, "Succession," "The Morning Show" and "Ted Lasso" topped the nominations. You know, the stars of the new movie "Licorice Pizza," Alaina Haim of the band Haim and Cooper Hoffman, they got best actor and best actress nominations in their debut acting roles. But this year, the story isn't just about the nominees; it's also about the controversy behind the scenes with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the HFPA.

MARTIN: Right. OK, so let's get into it. The HFPA, this is the group that runs the Golden Globe Awards, right?

DEL BARCO: That's right. It's a small group of journalists working for international outlets. And every year, they put on a really fun, casual, boozy celebration of movies and TV shows. But critics say they got free trips, free movies, exclusive interviews and more, allegations that the HFPA denies. But, you know, that relationship between the industry and the HFPA broke down after those LA Times investigations you mentioned. In their reporting, some members allege that the HFPA had a culture of, quote, "self-dealing and ethical lapses." The HFPA denied the allegations.

But there was another glaring lapse, and that was that this group had more than 80 voting members choosing the Golden Globe Awards and not one of them was Black. So NBC pulled the plug on airing the 2022 Golden Globes on TV. Major studios said they no longer would deal with the HFPA. Filmmakers Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes and A-list celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Tom Cruise spoke out against the HFPA, and more than a hundred publicity agencies signed a joint letter demanding the HFPA reform.

MARTIN: Wow. So, I mean, have they? How seriously has the HFPA taken this?

DEL BARCO: Well, the group in this past few months has added 21 members, six of them are Black. Older members were independently reviewed and reaccredited, and they added their first chief diversity officer, and they partnered with the NAACP. Now, German journalist Helen Hoehne was elected HFPA president in September after serving as its vice president, and she said that for the last eight months, they changed their rules, their bylaws and added a new code of conduct. So that's what they've done.

MARTIN: All right. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reporting all these changes with the Golden Globes ceremony. It is set for January 9, will not be televised. Mandalit, thanks. We appreciate it.

DEL BARCO: Thank you, Rachel.

(SOUNDBITE OF AMBIENT JAZZ ENSEMBLE'S "ELEVEN DAYS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.