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Despite pressure on HFPA, projects with the most Golden Globe nods aren't so diverse


At 6 o'clock this morning in Los Angeles, Snoop Dogg announced the Golden Globes nominations. That is not the only thing unusual about the awards this year. For years, the Golden Globes kicked off the awards season with a big, glam party. But the ceremony won't be televised in January after fallout from investigations into the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. That's the organization that gives out the awards. Pop Culture Happy Hour's Linda Holmes is here to tell us more.

Hey, Linda.


KELLY: All right - first things first, the nominations. What made the cut - any surprises?

HOLMES: I was not very surprised by these. Most of the things they picked are at least pretty well-regarded. On the film side, they really liked the "Power Of The Dog," which is Jane Campion's big Western. And they liked "Belfast," which is Kenneth Branagh's nostalgia piece based on his own childhood. Those are both movies that lots of critics also liked.

On the TV side, "Succession" did well. That's one of my favorites. "The Morning Show" also did well. That is not one that makes my personal best of the year list. But, you know, like everybody else every year, they have a good deal of what you expect and then a couple head-scratchers. And there are always a couple that you're really happy to see. I was delighted that "Maid," a series I very much liked about a single mom trying to get out of an abusive relationship, got some nominations.

And we should absolutely mention in the past, the Golden Globes have been criticized for their lack of diversity in their nominations. This year the individual nominations in terms of actors are more diverse than they've sometimes been. But the projects with the most nods, as you may have noticed as I rattled them off, are not projects with particularly inclusive casts. But honestly, you know - and that's related back to the big story this year, which is what's been going on with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

KELLY: Yeah. So what is going on with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association? And what's different - I mean, what's happening this year?

HOLMES: Well, what's not happening? Last year the LA Times reported on allegations that the HFPA had for years been kind of in cahoots with Hollywood studios, kind of traded lavish trips and access to movie stars for Golden Globe votes. Obviously, the HFPA has a different view of how those relationships worked. But another of the big headlines was that there were more than 80 voting members in the HFPA, and not a single one of them was Black.


HOLMES: So they have been going through some reforms this year. Here is what the HFPA president said today during the nominations.


HELEN HOENE: For eight months, we have worked tirelessly as an organization to be better. We changed our rules, bylaws, added a new code of conduct and restructured our governance. We also have 21 new members, the largest and most diverse in our 79-year-old history.

HOLMES: So they are certainly trying to reshape their image in Hollywood.

KELLY: And to circle us back to the point that none of this is going to be on TV this year...


KELLY: ...No big, glam party...


KELLY: That's got to change the whole dynamic.

HOLMES: It does. It has always sort of been my position that, because the process was sort of sketchy and happened under these clouds of various rumors and allegations, that the awards themselves are the least important part of the Globes, right? The awards themselves are a little ridiculous. The reason people liked the Globes was that the telecast had a much looser tone, let's say, than something more staid like the Oscars or the Emmys. The Globes put stars at big tables and let everybody drink. That makes for a sillier party. Without the party on TV, it is hard for me to understand why this event would continue. I won't miss it if it goes away. It's happening on the same night as the Critics Choice Awards. Those will be on TV. Maybe in the future, people will drink there.

KELLY: (Laughter) Well, cheers to that. That is Pop Culture Happy Hour's Linda Holmes.

Thanks, Linda.

HOLMES: Thank you, Mary Louise.

(SOUNDBITE OF ST. VINCENT SONG, "SAVIOR") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.