Digital Polyphony

film, games, memories & random thoughts


Deal With It, HFPA

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 1:32 AM

I suppose I should write up something...something totally awesome. My article this week is behind. Don't blame me. Blame the radscorpions in New Vegas.

But if you haven't heard, Ricky Gervais pretty much ripped the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association a new one.

Thank god. Of course, it's not without its backlash. Let's face it, he did it for his own gain. At the same time...what better victim than the Golden Globe Awards. Here's three reasons why it was a great thing:


1) You knew damn well what you were getting.

It's Ricky Gervais. He's a comedian and one that doesn't exactly adhere to your typical "host comedian" duties. Him going off on the whole sham that is the Golden Globes is surprising? That’s why you hire Ricky Gervais, to poke fun and be pretty damn candid while doing so. Have you not seen his material? The HFPA knew exactly what they were getting and the risk involved. I pity their ignorance more than anything. They gave him full creative control, aferall, and any person who has seen ten minutes of Gervais's standup would certainly have known better. But this is the HFPA afterall. Maybe nobody got the free screener of him with the wad of cash stuffed inside to take any notice.

They got egg on their face, but Gervais made no compromises on his material as well he shouldn't have. They wanted him to do some dog and pony show, jump through hoops and prop up their own little program. The 180 was certainly shocking to them, I'm sure, but Gervais pretty much did what nobody else would ever publicly do: call the HFPA out on their bullshit. Which brings me to:


2) Everyone in that room thinks the same thing and tells those same jokes – Gervais just had the balls to do it on a public forum.

The jokes, the snide remarks, the puns and shots taken at the HFPA and their ridiculous nominations - everybody was thinking it. Gervais had the balls to host the show that was handling it all and pulled back the curtain. What angers me a bit, though, were the boos and "commotion" he caused amongst the celebrity and Hollywood types. You see, celebrities don't like to be shown less than they really are. Well, some of them at least. More importantly, though, are the "big players" that don't like to made fun of. So when someone takes a pot shot at Scientology, as Gervais did, it's frowned upon.

The thing is, they probably take those pot shots themselves. All those jokes were nothing new, but now they were made public and in prime time. Now not everything Gervais did was great. He did some jokes that, I personally found, were a little beneath him. But the ones that hit, really hit hard and stung the people that depend on the Golden Globes to promote their product weren't pleased...even though they probably tell those same jokes at parties and in meetings every week. Hypocrisy at its finest. Afterall, Bobby D did a pretty bad joke here and there too in his speech. But no...nobody would ever say anything bad about him.

That's the thing: if it wasn't Gervais and, say, Billy Crystal or some other staple, nobody would say a damn thing or be up in arms. Gervais had nothing to lose and everything to gain. He's not entirely a household he is. If it comes at the cost of the HFPA being exposed, all the better.

3) The HFPA is the biggest scam in the film industry.

As I’ve said a million times, the Golden Globes is a joke. I won’t reiterate it now, but it boils down to self-promotion and ego stroking. It’s the worst awards show out there, and yes that includes the People’s Choice Awards because, truth is, we only have ourselves to blame for that one (and 14 year old girls who love Twilight). The Golden Globes is a “buy your award” show so you can print it on DVD covers and promote your product. It means nothing.

But what’s more is I think, deep down, the studios and stars hate the fact they seem to have no control over it. They HAVE to do it now, they just don't like being told otherwise (the big studio heads at least, I'd be willing to think even Johnny Depp knew he was only there for appearance purposes). Spend money on parties and wine and dining the 90 member board of out of touch “foreign press” members (that I guess compromise the whole world...oh wait no they don’t most live here in LA) and what do you have to show for it? Nothing. A statue that will be forgotten by next year. Hell, I can remember more Saturn Award and SAG award winners than I can Golden Globe.

But, somehow, we've all been brainswashed. After decades of putting out that image that they are important, relishing in their own false validity, The Globes somehow are put on par with the Emmys and Oscars. Not even close. You might have thoughts of many ballots being turned in by thousands of voters that are part of the HFPA and them sitting and contemplating the artistic merits of the movies to be nominated. In reality it's about 90 morons that probably haven't seen half the films but they sure did like the Giftbags and free concerts and other events and parties they can go to seeing as how the "foreign" press are mostly living in Los Angeles. What's that? You have a movie with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie? We want them at our party...let's nominate them too!



When it comes to Awards Shows, they're all pretty much back-patting and self-promotion. They're awards shows, that's what they do and are overly-boring while doing so. The difference is the HFPA does it for their own gain and nothing else. A SAG or DGA awards means immensely more seeing as how those are amongst peers and have thousands of members, same with Academy where you have to be a member and EARN your membership in some way (whether as an actor/producer etc...). The HFPA is that little dusty exclusive club that doesn't like anything unless it's sent to their doorstep, wrapped in a neat box and can make them feel good about themselves. Ask yourself: as self-gratifying as Awards Shows are for those making movies, why the hell do we need to gratify a little club to have them nominate things? It's a show and farce that needs to just end and even though Gervais, in the grand machine that is the Golden Globes, is just a speed bump for least it was a major "drag out your undercarriage" bump.


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