8 January 2024

2024 Golden Globes: Did the awards show put their diversity issues behind them?

The new iteration of the awards was the first with a voting body of 300 people and 60% diversity.

For the first time in a long time, the Golden Globes were actually worth tuning into again. The annual ceremony, which took place last night (January 7th) at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton Hotel, kicked off awards season, and even through your screen it was clear the atmosphere was electric. Not necessarily because the show was exciting to watch (are award shows ever really fun?), but the one saving grace was that a range of diverse first-time nominees were actually winning

First-time nominees Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Ali Wong, Steven Yeun, Matthew Macfadyen, Lily Gladstone and Ayo Edebiri took home awards for their work in some of Hollywood’s greatest films and TV shows this past year, like The Holdovers, Beef, Succession, Killers Of The Flower Moon and The Bear. Meanwhile, other first-time winners included director Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer, Kieran Culkin for Succession and Elizabeth Debicki for The Crown

We shouldn’t be surprised, though, because this shift isn’t coming out of nowhere. In June 2023, the Golden Globes announced that Dick Clark Production had acquired all the rights for the show from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), essentially disbanding the HFPA, a body of 90 industry insiders that controlled voting at the Golden Globes since the show’s inception in 1944. 

For the unaware, the Golden Globes have been the awards show equivalent of a hot mess for many years. A 2021 LA Times investigation found that when it came to diversity in its voting members, there were no Black members in the group. It was a big deal since these were the people who chose the Golden Globes nominees and winners every year. And when you don’t diversify, you end up with the same people – and types of people – winning again and again, excluding many new actors and specifically people of colour who haven’t historically had the same access or platform in Hollywood. Not only that but by nominating and awarding certain art and artists repeatedly, a large number of viewers were left scratching their heads and feeling unseen. 

This whole debacle led to an industry-wide boycott and the show being dropped by NBC. After a last-ditch effort for diversity by the HFPA in 2023, NBC dropped the award’s show. Now on CBS, this year is the first ceremony post-HFPA, with the Golden Globes now employing 300 journalists from around the world, including voters from countries like Armenia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Serbia. According to the Golden Globes, the new voting body is 47% female and 60% racially and ethnically diverse, with 26.3% Latinx, 13.3% Asian, 11% Black and 9% Middle Eastern.

And you could feel that change during this year’s awards show, reflected in the nominees and winners. As many have pointed out, this year’s nominations felt more in line with popular culture, with fan faves — and feminist — films like Greta Gerwig’s Barbie taking home a record number of nominations. According to Variety, this year’s show had almost 30 first-time nominees, a Golden Globes record. 

So what does it all mean? Unsurprisingly to many, ethnic, gendered and cultural diversity makes a difference, leading to a range of interesting, exciting projects, and artists who are telling different kinds of stories that deserve the spotlight. However, this year’s Globes wasn’t a total win. Despite receiving nine nominations, a joint record number alongside 1972’s Cabaret, Barbie – the heralded feminist film lauded by awards execs and raking in over $1.4 billion at the box office – only went home with awards for Best Song and new category Cinematic and Box Office Achievement. Historically, women have been snubbed for the biggest awards, and the snub for Gerwig is yet another example 

But that doesn’t mean we should necessarily give up hope. The 2024 awards season is still young, and with this visible change to kick off the season, audiences and fans are taking note — and hopefully awards shows and voting bodies are too.

  • Writer Chris Saunders
  • Banner Image Credit YouTube / CBS News

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