How Studios Are Subverting the Golden Globes Boycott

Matthew Belloni
November 8, 2021

A quick update on the Golden Globes boycott. Or, rather, the public boycott. Most studios have begun inviting Hollywood Foreign Press Association members to general press screenings or sending screener links, hoping to land Globes nominations. They aren’t doing H.F.P.A.-specific screenings, as they normally would this time of year, or press conferences, or even arranging one-on-one talent interviews. That would run afoul of the publicist-led edict not to work with the organization as it attempts to transform itself in the wake of the scandal over some of its practices and its low diversity numbers.    

After talking to several key people in the awards space this week, the feeling seems to be that the studios and streamers can quietly court Globes noms without officially shunning the boycott—especially since the H.F.P.A., like a few other awards bodies, isn’t requiring a formal submission process this year. After all, awards are awards, and most talent—especially the rising stars whose careers most benefit—would still like to win a Globe when they are announced (albeit non-televised) in January. A few have even reached out directly to H.F.P.A. members, I’m told.   

A handful of studios are still adhering to the total boycott, including Warner Bros., which has declined to engage with the H.F.P.A. Its films and shows are generally available on HBO Max or other streamers, and its big contender, Will Smith’s King Richard, will be publicly available Nov. 19, in time for Globes voting. We’ll see how it does.  

Speaking of the H.F.P.A., its lead tormentor Kelly Bush has suffered setbacks of her own lately. A group of publicists at Bush’s ID PR defected last week to Shelter PR, the talent-focused boutique run by Cara and Christine Tripicchio. Leah Chang, Larissa Saenz, and Rachel Hunt are bringing about 20 clients with them, I’m told. Separately, actress-singer Cynthia Erivo, who just booked the Wicked movie, and writer-producer-actress Lena Waithe, recently left ID and are taking meetings.