The Golden Globe Awards ceremony is a significant award event of the film awards season in the US. It is presented annually by members of Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in a formal ceremony and dinner to recognize excellence and achievements of professionals from film and television industries, both national and international. Telecast in 167 countries, this star-studded event garners millions of viewers usually ranking annually as the third most-viewed awards ceremony after the prestigious Academy Awards and Grammy Awards.
A group of Los Angeles based journalists reporting on the entertainment industry for publications outside the US founded Hollywood Foreign Correspondent Association in 1943. The organization wanted to come up with a film award ceremony that would be similar to that of the Oscars. This led to establishment of the Golden Globe Awards ceremony that was first held in 1944 at the 20th Century-Fox studios. Scrolls were presented to recognize remarkable achievements in filmmaking for the year 1943. The following year its members planned to present the winners with a statuette portraying a golden globe, with a strip of motion picture film wrapped around it, mounted on a pedestal. Difference of opinion within the organization led some of its members to move out and form Foreign Press Association of Hollywood in 1950. The two organizations later merged in 1955 to form HFPA. Starting from that year HFPA also decided to honor television achievement.
HFPA has conducted this gala event generally in January every year considering eligibility period for the Golden Globes as January 1 to December 31 of the preceding year. Revenues collected from the event are donated to charitable organizations associated with showbiz, used for funding scholarships and grants for future showbiz professionals and also used for restoring films.
Over the years, starting from the late 1950s, HFPA and Golden Globe Awards have been marred with several controversies and scandals which include serious charges like purchase and bartering of awards raising questions on the very credibility of presentation of the award. HFPA faced several criticisms including on ethical standards of its operations; size and quality of its membership, and for lacking strict membership criteria. Allegations of impropriety that surfaced against it includes keeping out serious cinema journalists from its membership; lack of Black representation in its membership; lack of diversity among nominees and winners; financial malfeasance; maintaining closeness with and nominating stars, studios and production houses who bribed its members with expensive presents, press junkets and access to stars and film sets; and lack of accountability.
NBC started broadcasting the event in Los Angeles in 1958 and nationally in 1964. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asserted in 1968 that the event gave a wrong impression to the public on the procedure through which winners are selected for the Golden Globe Awards. It was alleged that a lobby selected the winners and the winners were forced to turn up at the televised award ceremony failing which another nominee would be declared as winner. NBC was warned by FCC for becoming part of the scandal and was banned from broadcasting the event following the 1968 ceremony. The ban continued till 1974 after which NBC again started broadcasting the ceremony. The Pia Zadora scandal, which produced accusations that actress Pia Zadora's husband Meshulam Riklis bought the Best Female Newcomer award for her at the 39th Golden Globe Awards for a performance that was lampooned by both critics and comedians, again led NBC to end its contract with HFPA after the 1982 event.
Facing several criticisms and allegations, HFPA declared its plans for a reform package on May 3, 2021. Although such proposed reforms garnered support from HFPA’s long-time producer Dick Clark Productions and NBC, these were criticized by Time's Up organization which began a social media campaign prior to the 78th Golden Globe Awards to highlight the issue of lack of Black representation in HFPA’s membership. On May 7 Netflix and Amazon Studios declared that they were ceasing all activities with HFPA till adequate steps on reforms proposed by the latter were undertaken. Three days later HFPA was boycotted by WarnerMedia and its subsidiaries. Same day, in support of boycotts made by different media houses, actors, and others associated with showbiz, NBC, regular broadcaster of the event since 1996, refused to broadcast the 79th Golden Globe Awards ceremony in 2022, marking it as the first Golden Globes event after 2008 that was not televised. The ceremony was again televised by NBC in 2023.
In June 2022, HFPA approved a significant restructuring and subsequently announced that Eldridge Industries would acquire HFPA and set up a for-profit corporation to manage intellectual property of the Golden Globes. In January 2023, Penske Media Eldridge acquired Dick Clark Productions. HFPA declared on June 12 that it would cease to exist and that Dick Clark Productions and Eldridge Industries have acquired assets and intellectual property related to the Golden Globes. The non-profit organization Golden Globes Foundation was established to conduct philanthropic activities of HFPA.