After a second year in a row where the Hollywood Foreign Press (the association that runs the Golden Globes) has had controversy over what it classifies as a Foreign Language picture, nominating movies such as The Farewell and Minari in this category (both American made movies), they have finally decided to do something about it, seeming as they’ve been fixing a lot of holes in their systems since it was exposed they have not a single black member.
Speaking on behalf of the controversy, Ali Sar, President of the HFPA, had this to say, “As we reexamined our guidelines this year and listened to the industry, we decided to adopt new approaches for future shows ensuring these films receive the attention they deserve … Language will no longer be a barrier to recognition as the best”. This means from now on a movie such as Minari will be able to compete in Best Motion Picture – Drama or Comedy/Musical. This allows not only very much American movies not to be singled out due to being a majority in a foreign language, but just allows other great, international features to be recognised where they deserve to. The category name has also been changed from “Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language” to “Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language.”, I don’t see what this changes, but okay.
The same change in category eligibility has also been extended to animated feature movies. The Globes have shown to love their animation so I’m really curious to see whether this changes much, I also wonder if the same rule was implemented this year whether ‘Soul’ could have grabbed a nomination.
Another interesting change is productions of stage plays, operas, concerts, and other live events recorded on a theatrical stage or other similar venue (i.e. not adapted for production as a motion picture or television program) are now considered documentaries and are not eligible. Wow, wasn’t ‘Hamilton’ lucky to get a nomination at the time it did. I actually quite like this rule. I don’t know whether I’d agree calling them documentaries but filming an already acclaimed piece of art and calling it a film or TV show is just a cheap way to get nominations and I’m glad they cut it out as soon as they have.
Other smaller changes are:
- Refining the definition of foreign television programs (programs produced principally outside the United States) which are eligible only if they are a co-production (both financially and creatively) with a United States partner and defined a “United States partner.”
- Requiring that all eligible episodes of television series must be a minimum of twenty (20) program minutes.
- Updating the Golden Globe ballot certifications each member makes to comply with HFPA’s current conflicts disclosure requirements.
It is clear that the HFPA are embarrassed by their failings over the past few years and desperately want to change things for the better, but it won’t be until 2023 that we see whether they have changed as an organisation.