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This year’s Golden Globes ceremony was an unsurprising disaster

Awards show hubris meant that – despite controversy, condemnation and a live event being dropped by US broadcasters – the Globes went ahead on Twitter. It was an unsurprising disaster, writes Adam White, and should mark the fatal blow for the annual ceremony

Monday 10 January 2022 16:51
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<p>A cat watches the live announcements of this year’s Golden Globes winners, which took place on Twitter and the official Globes site</p>

A cat watches the live announcements of this year’s Golden Globes winners, which took place on Twitter and the official Globes site

The Golden Globes probably shouldn’t happen again in the future, but they definitely shouldn’t have happened last night. Rather than take a year off – amid controversies over the whiteness of its elite membership and its existence as an allegedly corrupt institution loathed by Hollywood publicists and the stars they represent – it persevered with a ceremony held over Twitter. It was, to little surprise, an unmitigated disaster.

Over two hours on Sunday night, the official Globes Twitter account inanely tweeted the winners of its various categories, buffering them with odd non-sequiturs. The tweets, which read like a 65-year-old social media manager’s idea of conversational tweeting, largely forgot to name the actual projects being awarded, and tended to instead go something like this: “They may be in movies made for the small screen, but these leading ladies are big stars. Congratulations to Kate Winslet for your #GoldenGlobe.”

There were archaic emojis, bizarre proclamations (“It takes 43 muscles to smile – thanks for the work out Andrew Garfield”), and tweets hastily deleted after inspiring confusion (“If laughter is the best medicine, West Side Story is the cure for what ails you” ??). It was unintentionally funny – the Globes are being routinely roasted across Twitter this morning – but also embarrassing, a slow death spiral that you couldn’t look away from.

It remains unclear why the Globes were so intent on pressing ahead this year. US broadcaster NBC made it clear last May that they had no intention of airing a potential ceremony, citing the Globes needing “time to do it right” and fix their internal issues. A raft of celebrities publicly lambasted the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that makes up Globes voters, with Tom Cruise going so far as to hand back the awards they’ve given him over the years. Still, awards show hubris overpowered all of that, it seems. Perhaps because the alternative – realising these awards never really mattered, and certainly don’t now – is far too grave for those in charge.

As for the actual winners, only a handful have acknowledged their victories so far, among them newcomer Ariana DeBose of West Side Story (last night’s Best Supporting Actress victor) and long-time Globes favourite Nicole Kidman, who took home Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for Being the Ricardos. At the time of writing, we’ve heard nothing from winners such as Will Smith (Best Actor in a Drama for King Richard) and Kate Winslet (Best Actress in a Television Motion Picture for Mare of Easttown). A public statement, it seems, isn’t worth the energy or the potential backlash. It feels like almost everyone – from the stars themselves to us not watching – has washed their hands of it.

We’re in a very different climate than we were two years ago. The films being enjoyed in vast numbers and the films being awarded have never been more disparate. A pandemic has made moneyed stars swanning about in jewels and praising themselves seem inappropriate. The similarities yet existential differences between last night’s Globes tweet-a-thon and those for newfound “award shows” by popular film news Twitter accounts such as @DiscussingFilm and @FilmUpdates have also been stark – the latter go viral, the former are jeered at and mocked for being cringeworthy and regressive.

It brings to mind an important point: if teenagers on Twitter are poking fun at you, it’s probably time to pack your bags and call it a day.

Read the full list of Golden Globes winners here

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