Masked ‘Mandalorian’ Actor Spurs Golden Globes Rules Change

Pedro Pascal is The Mandalorian in the Disney+ series THE MANDALORIAN.
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Pedro Pascal and his masked bounty hunter on “The Mandalorian” have made an impact on the Golden Globes’ rules.

In a timely move during this era of mask wearing, a new Globe rule clarifies that Pascal, whose face wasn’t visible for most of the show, was indeed eligible last year to compete as an actor in the TV competition — but he would have just barely made the grade.

Announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Wednesday, “voice-only performances are not eligible in any acting category.” That means even if characters are physically in the scene, actors whose faces are not visible are not eligible in any acting category. In “The Mandalorian,” which aired last fall, Pascal was in costume and hidden under a helmet throughout the show’s eight-episode first season. It’s not until the season finale that the character’s helmet is removed and Pascal is finally seen for the first time.

According to insiders, the unusual nature of Pascal being mostly hidden on “The Mandalorian” prompted the rule. Pascal ultimately wasn’t nominated for a Globe last year, but the unusual nature of his eligibility led the HFPA to clarify whether or not actors whose faces are completely hidden can compete. Since Pascal was unmasked in the finale, the HFPA confirmed that the actor could have been nominated.

Another rule change announced on Wednesday expanded the Globes’ voter pool. Lifetime members of the HFPA may now vote; however, there is nobody who is eligible for lifetime status at this time. To qualify, members must be currently active for at least 40 years, or have been previously active for 30 years. They must also be over the age of 75.

Among other TV changes, the HFPA has added the term “anthology” to its limited series/TV movie category names. The move follows last year’s decision to add anthologies — series of separate and distinct stories based on a common subject or theme that do not tell a complete, non-recurring story — to its list of programs eligible for Globes. (That includes Netflix’s “Black Mirror,” Amazon Prime Video’s “Modern Love,” and CBS All Access’ “The Twilight Zone.”)

These Golden Globe rule changes and clarifications were decided before the COVID-19 crisis. The HFPA will consider additional changes if needed because of further disruptions caused by the pandemic. The awards show is currently decided by a small group of about 85 journalists who cover Hollywood for international outlets. In comparison, about 8,500 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can vote for the Oscars.

The Globes already announced that it will consider films for the Globes if they streamed first before a theatrical release because of movie theater closures.

A date for the 2021 Golden Globes has not been announced. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are set to return as co-hosts.