More like Emily in TROUBLE!
If you are an award show junkie like we are, you are well aware of Emily in Paris scoring TWO nominations for Golden Globes this year: Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy for star Lily Collins.
These are some seriously big honors — and to be totally frank, a bit of a surprise for a show which was critically mehed and even less embraced by audiences (the one and only season currently holds a 63% average among critics on Rotten Tomatoes — and only a 58% audience rating).
On the morning of the nominations, one of the most viral sentiments online was backlash at the Darren Star-created comedy being put on a pedestal alongside critical darlings like The Great, Ted Lasso, and the final season of Schitt’s Creek.
In particular many pointed out Michaela Cohen‘s I May Destroy You was completely snubbed (despite an impressive 98% critics score). Much of it was chalked up to another example of systemic racism at the Globes. That may indeed have something to do with it — a new investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed there is not a SINGLE Black journalist among the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
As shocking as that figure may be, there may be a more nakedly corrupt reason for the award success of Emily in Paris.
That same report alleges some seriously unethical conduct on the part of the show’s production AND Globes voters.
According to the Times, more than 30 members of the HFPA — that’s over a third of the voting body — were flown to France to visit the set of the Netflix show. While this was ostensibly a journalistic trip… it was also a luxury vacation. Members stayed two nights at the 5-star, $1,400/night Paris Peninsula resort and treated to a fancy lunch at the historic Musée des Arts Forains. All on Paramount‘s dime.
HFPA rules prohibit gifts from any studio or creator valued at more than $125 — but covering “travel expenses” seems to be a loophole.
But can you really deny this is a gift? How would YOU react to someone paying for a flight for you to Paris and putting you up in a pricey hotel for two nights? As one HFPA member told the outlet:
“They treated us like kings and queens.”
Was this a thinly veiled bribe? Hard to prove for certain… though it certainly seems to have worked as one, considering the two high-profile nods.
The LA Times launched its investigation after the dismissal of a lawsuit by journalist Kjersti Flaa, who sued last year alleging her own rejection from joining was part of the organization’s illegal cartel-like behavior. An anonymous HFPA member told the Times Flaa was dead-on, saying they don’t hire “serious journalists” on purpose:
“We admit people that are not real journalists because they are not a threat to anyone.”
What are they trying to hide by keeping out “real journalists”? Maybe everything the investigation uncovered… Not just the lack of diversity and appearance of impropriety when it comes to nominations — but also what looks like it might be illegal self-dealing.
The HFPA has a deal with NBC which is making it tons — despite its tax-free status — and is reportedly filtering the money to members just for doing regular duties like serving on committees. Hmm…
Racism, bribery, self-dealing… How did the HFPA respond to these accusations? A spokesperson issued the statement:
“We do not control the individual votes of our members… we seek to build cultural understanding through film and TV and recognize how the power of creative storytelling can educate people around the world to issues of race, representation, and orientation.”
What do YOU think of the Globes? Is this shocking — or just what you’ve come to expect from the organization that nominated The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, for three awards??
You can read the full report HERE.
[Image via WENN/Avalon/Netflix/YouTube.]