Last week, NBC announced that due to the lack of diversity, as well for ethical impropriates among the staff and voters of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a trade group of some 90 members that write about the entertainment industry to media sources based outside of the USA, decided not to televise the annual Golden Globes awards show in 2022.
The Golden Globe Awards, one of the most viewed entertainment award programs that is outside of the “big four” awards in media and entertainment, has been going through a recent shake up of its members and staff due to its lack of diversity (most members are white males), as well as other factors that caused NBC not to air this event next season.
The Golden Globes usually sets off the awards season for entertainment programs covering movies, television, recordings, and related factors. The season normally runs from early January and ends in late February with the presenting and telecasting of the Academy Awards. However, thanks to the pandemic, this year’s awards season ran some eight weeks behind schedule.
Within the January-February season, The Academy Awards a.k.a. The Oscars, as well as the Grammy Awards, are the only two from the big four that usually take place. The other two, the Tony Awards, usually takes place in early June, and the Emmys take place in early-middle September.
Awards shows and television has been a hand-in-hand notion for many decades. Its biggest draw was the roster of celebrities that usually appeared within these programs. It was always a thrill to TV viewers to see these so-called bigger than life stars to appear on their television screens. This was long true for The Oscars when movies and television existed as separate units. Movies were within their own world, and television was set in their universe.
For the Grammys, the only way that those in the music industry (musical bands or vocalists) would be seen on TV was usually as a guest spot in a variety program, most notably, The Ed Sullivan Show, among other programs of its ilk. The Tony Awards, for the best in New York-based Theater, has a unique approach as many of its actors and actresses, as well as those “behind the scenes” (authors, producers, etc.) that appeared as a presenter and/or as a award nominee wasn’t necessary a well known personality outside of the stage theater industry. And for The Emmy Awards, that was totally television! So those appearing for something or another was present within the medium they worked for and with.
But in recent years, the ratings for all of these award programs have been down in recent times. And there has been a lot of reasons why. Among the reasons, it was from the lack of knowledge on a massive scale of those nominated for an award and the source they were being nominated for. The Tony Awards presents awards for the best in stage theater for shows appearing on Broadway and in New York City. Unless one followers the theater industry and/or lives within a fifty mile radius of New York City, many of the shows and its stars and staff aren’t known as well to the public at large. The Oscars over the years (mostly from the 1990’s and onward), holds a tendency to recognize “art” or “independent” movies that are heavy in drama, and don’t tend to be big office office smashes. (If a summertime blockbuster becomes nominated, it tends to be for a technical award.) The Grammy only caters to those stars and recording that teeter toward a young demographic. TV programs that are set for an Emmy award focus upon television as a whole, but as less for programs appearing in one of the “big four” networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC), but toward premium a.k.a. Pay services (HBO, Showtime, etc.) as well as subscription streaming media. (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.)
Entertainment awards programs has been part of the TV staple for generations. The Academy Awards first saw the light on TV in 1953 on NBC. The Grammy Awards came to TV in the 1960’s. ABC first aired the Tony Awards in 1967. The Emmys, usually aired and rotated among four networks each year (Fox because the “fourth network” in the late 1980’s), first aired in the late 1940’s when TV was a new medium long before it became a standard.
As to The Golden Globe Awards. For many years, it was only aired as a local telecast within the Los Angeles area on independent station KTLA. For a while in the 1970’s, it was offered as a syndicated program for a national scale, mostly picked up by other independent stations across the USA. (This writer remembers watching this program in the early 1970‘s as a live event through WGN in Chicago, meaning that is aired from 10:00 PM to slightly past midnight, since the Central time zone was two hours ahead of the Pacific time zone.) in the middle 1990’s, it became a regular stable on NBC, around the time when celebrity news and its related factors started to catch on. Even the red carpet event before the awards show drew a bigger audience as much as the awards show itself that catered toward its viewing demographic.
Thanks to social media, these stars, mostly as seen and herd in front of the camera and mics, are always present 24/7/365. They have their own YouTube channels, host their own podcasts, have Twitter, Tic-Tok, and Instagram followers ranking into the millions, and can have their fans react to them through their own line of merchandise. So the notion of seeing them on TV through an awards show remains just another cog in their system of fans getting toward their stars, and the stars getting to their fans. If one is lucky, one can actually communicate with the stars in question, but that communication may be from a source that is working on behalf of the star in question, be it from a live person, or their robotic means.
Will this banning of NBC not airing the Golden Globes make a difference? It remains as a big maybe. After all, there are other award shows to consider. And maybe the HFPA may make an agreement to expand their team where it becomes more diverse to satisfy the network to reconsider. But in the meantime, the award shows will still continue. Live events still hold a bigger draw to video viewers. And its not limited to traditional TV. All of the media players participate in video streaming, and those that have access to an internet connected device can still watch where they may be, just as long as the WiFi connection holds out. And they can still follow their favorite stars through the media platforms as they are getting all of the attention they need just to keep up in their fame. It’s just another day in the life of a fanatic.
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