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Hollywood Greets Golden Globes Nominations With Tepid Response

HFPA President Helen Hoehne announces the nominations for the 79th Annual Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 13, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.
Michael Buckner for Variety

On Monday morning, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. (HFPA) announced the nominations for the 79th annual Golden Globe Awards — and what followed was near radio silence.

In the days leading up to the Golden Globe nominations, it was unclear what impact the announcement would have — and in the near 12 hours since the film and television nominations were revealed, the answer has been not much. The HFPA, the organization behind the show, is mired in controversy over the historic lack of diversity in its membership and for reportedly questionable ethical practices. Since the scandal exploded in February, the organization made moves to welcome more journalists of color into its ranks and institute new bans on gifts, but the A-list talent that once flocked to its telecast is steering clear until more time has passed.

“Pose” co-creator and showrunner Steven Canals was one of the few nominees to react to his show’s latest accolade in real time — well, relatively speaking (Canals posted his reaction nearly two hours after the Golden Globes nomination’s 6:10 a.m. PT start.)

While he first tweeted excitement that the show was recognized, he soon followed it up with more context.

“‘Pose’ scored 3 Golden Globe nominations. “This affirmation is bittersweet,” Canals wrote. “They’ll likely be the last of our recognition for the final season. And it comes from an organization that hasn’t always been inclusive of the folks centered on our show.”

In a second tweet, Canals continued, “Hoping these nominations mean the HFPA is making an intentional effort to address the criticism they’ve received in recent past, and we’ll continue to see acknowledgment and recognition of all the incredible work being produced by BIPOC & LGBTQ+ people.”

But there were no press releases sent en masse with statements thanking the HFPA and saluting co-stars and filmmakers. Also absent were the emotional reaction calls between journalists and nominees, still recovering from their shock at the big news. Instead, when Variety reached out to the nominated studios and publicists for top talent, most messages went unanswered or were met with a “no comment.”

However, when the Critics Choice Assn. announced its film award nominees three hours later, the industry perked up a bit (or at least collectively exhaled). Only then did some studios, like Disney, release diplomatic posts to social media touting their nominations from both awards bodies.

For example, the studio celebrated “WandaVision’s” four Critics Choice Awards nominations in a post that also mentioned its Golden Globes recognition for stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, but did not release an official statement celebrating either set of awards.

“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” and “Scenes From a Marriage” star Jessica Chastain employed a similar approach, posting a thank you note celebrating all of her nominations at once.

“Big day for Tammy Faye,” the Oscar-nominated actor wrote, thanking her collaborators and both associations for recognizing all of their work on the project.

“In the Heights” director Jon M. Chu shouted out his film’s star Anthony Ramos for his best actor nomination, as well as Stephanie Beatriz and Lin-Manuel Miranda (the creative mind behind the musical and its WB film adaptation) for their nods for  Disney’s “Encanto” and Miranda’s directorial debut “Tick, Tick… Boom!” Chu also saluted his “Crazy Rich Asians” colleagues Adele Lim, Awkwafina and Gemma Chan, as well as his “Wicked” star Cynthia Erivo for their respective recognitions for “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Genius: Aretha.”

“Being the Ricardos” star Nicole Kidman, “Belfast’s” Jamie Dornan and Caitríona Balfe, Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”), Omar Sy (“Lupin”), Billy Porter (“Pose”) and Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”) were also among the nominees to share their excitement about the nominations and were re-posted on the Golden Globes’ official Instagram.

But, Netflix, which was one of the first studios to boycott the HFPA, publicly focused on the Critics Choice nods alone in its posts on Monday morning. Though “The Power of the Dog” shared the top spot for Golden Globes nominees with Focus Features’ “Belfast,” both movies only touted their heap of Critics Choice nods on social media.

The lack of fanfare shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the smaller number of media attendees at Monday morning’s nomination ceremony or the fact that, at the height of the HFPA’s controversy, more than 100 PR firms banded together to announce that their clients would no longer participate in exclusive press conferences, interviews and HFPA events until meaningful change had been instituted.

Only time will tell if the Golden Globes can be restored to their former luster.