The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced new eligibility guidelines for future Golden Globe Award shows, despite NBC announcing the cancellation of the annual telecast in 2022. The new rules will allow non-English language films to compete in their top categories, following the “Minari” backlash last awards season.
In addition to allowing non-English language films to compete in the best motion picture (drama) and motion picture (musical or comedy) categories, they will now once again allow animated features to compete in those categories, as long as they meet the other eligibility requirements for consideration.
After the Golden Globe rules forced Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” to compete in foreign language, the HFPA received pushback from audiences and the Hollywood industry. The A24 feature went on to be nominated at the Oscars for best picture and won an acting award for supporting actress Yuh Jung Youn. There was a similar outcry the year before in the case of “The Farewell.”
In addition, the HFPA has also announced that the majority of the membership has completed diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions.
The group has said it has passed a revised code of ethics prohibiting the acceptance of gifts and other inducements. The new proposed measures are:
- Allowing non-English language motion pictures to be eligible for the Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy awards if they meet the eligibility requirements for those awards (i.e. release in the Los Angeles area during the relevant eligibility period).
- Allowing animated motion pictures to be eligible for the Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy awards if they meet the eligibility requirements for those awards (i.e. release in the Los Angeles area during the relevant qualifying period).
- Renaming “Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language” award to “Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language.”
- Productions of stage plays, operas, concerts, and other live events recorded on a theatrical stage or other similar venue (i.e. not adapted for production as a motion picture or television program) are now considered documentaries and are not eligible.
- Refining the definition of foreign television programs (programs produced principally outside the United States) which are eligible only if they are a co-production (both financially and creatively) with a United States partner and defined a “United States partner.”
- Requiring that all eligible episodes of television series must be a minimum of twenty (20) program minutes.
- Updating the Golden Globe ballot certifications each member makes to comply with HFPA’s current conflicts disclosure requirements.
“As we reexamined our guidelines this year and listened to the industry, we decided to adopt new approaches for future shows ensuring these films receive the attention they deserve,” said Ali Sar, President of the HFPA. “Language will no longer be a barrier to recognition as the best.”
The group announced in May that it is working on “transformational reforms” however, multiple studios including Amazon Studios, Netflix and Warner Media were among the studios that severed ties with the organization until it demonstrated real, lasting reform and change. Variety previously reported that the HFPA is blocking the Critics Choice Awards from booking its long-standing venue at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
It’s too soon to tell if the rule change constitutes any kind of signal to Hollywood to do business with the group again or the industry will need more substantial change from the organization that has been long under scrutiny.