Golden Globes biggest controversies – explosive speeches and diversity row

The 79th annual Golden Globes Awards will be held in Hollywood this evening, but will be going ahead without any of the usual lavish ceremony – being without film stars, a red carpet or television broadcast.

Regarding the 2022 ceremony, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) said that the ceremony would still go ahead, to "shine a light on the long-established philanthropy work of the HFPA, showcasing a range of grantees during the program."

But they will not air on TV.

The awards previously came under fire due to a number of controversies including a diversity row in 2021, which saw broadcaster NBC pull out of partnering with the show and stars including Tom Cruise hand back his three Golden Globe awards.

Here, Daily Star takes a look at some of the Golden Globes biggest controversies.

Ricky Gervais' explosive 2020 speech

Comedian Ricky Gervais has hosted the Golden Globes five times, and during his time as host, he has had a number of memorable speeches and roasts of both Hollywood stars and Hollywood itself.

However, his 2020 Golden Globes speech was by far his most explosive, making headlines for several of his statements including telling the stars to avoid coming onto the stage to make political speeches, saying "you're in no position to lecture the public about anything."

He also added "If you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and f*** off."

The speech made headlines around the world, with the Chicago Sun Times writing in their Golden Globes review that Ricky Gervais was "so intent on congratulating himself for being edgy" that he "forgot to be funny."

Ricky Gervais has since commented on his speech and in 2021, posted a clip of him at the 2020 Golden Globes after he wasn't invited to the Oscars.

In the tweet he said: "It's the Oscars tonight. I wasn't invited. Was it something I said?"

Best Film nominations spark criticism

Burlesque starring music icons Cher and Christina Aguilera has become a favourite with fans across the world – but on its release, the film was widely panned by critics.

Nevertheless, Burlesque was given a nod in the Best Film category at the 2010 Golden Globe awards, alongside films such as The Tourist.

The nominations sparked criticism when they were announced, given that both films had not been commercially successful on release at the box office, or well received by critics.

However, films such as Burlesque have since gone on to enjoy success with new generations of audiences.

Lack of female nominations

In 2020, The Golden Globes was criticised for not recognising the work of females behind the camera, after not a single female director was nominated for an award.

The previous year had seen the release of critically acclaimed films including Lorene Scafaria's Hustlers and Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Little Women, but neither of the film's directors were nominated in the best director category.

In total, only five female directors have been nominated for the award in the Golden Globes' 79 year history.

Speaking about the snub on the Today show, Little Women actor Florence Pugh said: "I think we were totally shocked."

Her Little Women co-star Saoirse Ronan added: "She has made one of the best movies of the year. It's vital for something like this to happen, because it reminds us of how far obviously we still need to go."

However in 2021, three women were nominated for the best director category, including Regina King for One Night in Miami, Chloé Zhao for Nomadland and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman.

Diversity row

In 2021, The Golden Globes came under fire for a lack of diversity in the awards nominations.

Netflix's Emily in Paris was awarded two nominations, while the critically acclaimed drama series I May Destroy You starring Michaela Cole did not receive a single nomination.

The announcement sparked an outcry of criticism from both fans and members of the industry, with one of the Emily in Paris writers Deborah Copaken even telling The Guardian: "That I May Destroy You did not get one Golden Globe nod is not only wrong, it’s what is wrong with everything.

"How anyone can watch I May Destroy You and not call it a brilliant work of art or Michaela Coel a genius is beyond my capacity to understand how these decisions are made."

In response to the criticism, the HFPA released a statement soon after saying that they were working to bring in new members from "underrepresented backgrounds and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible."

However, the diversity row prompted long time broadcasting partner NBC to step down from showing the awards ceremony in 2022, releasing a statement last year saying: "Change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right.

"As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organisation executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023."

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