On February 21, the Los Angeles Times published a report on alleged “ethical conflicts” and a “culture of corruption” within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the highly influential 87-member nonprofit trade organization that runs and votes on the annual Golden Globe Awards for film and television. One element of the investigation is Hollywood’s “widespread perception that members can still be wheedled and swayed with special attention,” with one awards consultant calling the HFPA a “nice target” for awards campaigning because they are such a small body.
In one example of the “hotel stays, dinners, and other freebies” that Globes voters receive, the Times wrote about how in 2019, Paramount Network treated over 30 Golden Globe voters to a lavish Emily in Paris set visit which included “a two-night stay at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel, where rooms currently start at about $1,400 a night, and a news conference and lunch at the Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum filled with amusement rides dating to 1850 where the show was shooting.” (Emily in Paris was originally made for Paramount Network before Netflix bought it in 2020.) “‘They treated us like kings and queens,’ said one member who participated in the junket, which was also attended by other non-HFPA media.”
This news comes after many awards season followers, including a staff writer on Emily in Paris, expressed bafflement and disappointment that the middling series was nominated for Best TV Comedy over more acclaimed series. It also comes after Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa’s antitrust lawsuit against the HFPA was dismissed in November.