In the Golden Globes’ attempted comeback, “Who would be proud of a Golden Globe?”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is ready to roll out the red carpet, but who’s going to be RSVP chasing?

In recent weeks, as award season started to heat up for the fall festivals, buzz about a possible Golden Globes comeback has grown. The show used to be a pivotal stop to any prize campaign, but was not televised at all last year, following a maelstrom of controversy over the organization that hands them out, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. In March 2021, the organization pledged to make “transformational change,” including a substantial overhaul of its membership.

NBC, which has broadcast the Globes since 1996, has not yet officially announced their return, but sources confirm that Vanity Fair that the HFPA and NBC are in deep talks, though they warn that news of an official date for the show is premature. (NBC and the HFPA had no comment when reached by Vanity scholarship.)

While some of the A-list talents the Globes publicly denounced in 2021 may still not be ready to return, opinion seems to have shifted enough to make the glitzy event possible again. “When they announce that the awards are going ahead, you get a few people who say, ‘I’m not letting my clients go,'” says a senior publicist. “But this is such a complacent city and people are realizing and recognizing the impact of an awards ceremony being broadcast worldwide.”

A lucrative broadcast deal is a make-or-break moment for the Hollywood Foreign Press, which was acquired by Eldridge Industries in July in an effort to bolster its financial future. But for an awards show to work, talent has to be there. So the real question is whether Hollywood’s talent and gatekeepers — agents, publicists and studio executives — will support the event, both when participating in HFPA events prior to the show and the show itself.

Through numerous conversations with talent as well as studio and award publicists over the past few days, Vanity Fair has learned that the publicists have split into three camps: those who are still unhappy with the HFPA and its changes, those who are poised for a comeback, and those who are still hoping and waiting.

“My concern for the HFPA right now is that they don’t have enough industry consensus to announce the show and make it succeed in the way it deserves,” said a senior publicist who has been involved in the talks with the HFPA. HFPA since the beginning.

But others feel the humiliated organization is worth a return. A studio publicist says: vanity purse, “Most studios are really hoping for its return, because it’s a really valuable marketing tool that was sorely missed, and because they’ve actually made some substantial changes and brought in new members.”

While the general public may not understand the intricate drama that has unfolded behind the scenes over the past year and a half, the HFPA scandal has been so widely reported and discussed in Hollywood that some believe the damage is permanent. “I feel like it’s so contaminated,” says another personal publicist. “It makes me sad, but who would be proud of a Golden Globe?”

The HFPA’s fall from favor began with a Los Angeles Times exposé in February 2021, which reported ethical errors at the organization and revealed that it did not have a single black member. In the days and months that followed, a coalition of more than 100 PR firms along with studios like Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia announced they would not be working with the group until significant changes were made. NBC announced it would not air the 2021 Final Nail in the Coffin show.

Since then, the HFPA has been trying to rebuild the favor of the Hollywood community. The first wave of reforms included new statutes announced in August 2021, barring members from receiving gifts, and the addition of 21 new members in October, including six black members. More recently, the HFPA voted to approve a plan to create a for-profit entity owned by Eldridge Industries’ Todd Boehly— who became interim CEO of the HFPA last fall — who would manage its Golden Globes assets while maintaining a separate nonprofit that would focus on the group’s charitable and philanthropic efforts.

The coincidence of publicists working to hold the HFPA accountable has been going back and forth with the organization via email in recent weeks, in a chain of more than 100 people. There is frustration on both sides: some publicists feel they can’t get clear, concise answers about which of their requests were addressed, while others say the publicist group has been hostile and aggressive in their communications with the HFPA president. Helen Hoehne, who was just re-elected to her post on 12 August.

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