In news that makes those Golden Globe nominations for “Emily In Paris” slightly less surprising, voters behind the awards show said “oui” to a luxury Parisian getaway to the set of the show, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
A year before the nominations were unveiled, around 30 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press, the voting body that oversees the annual awards show, flew to Paris, France, where they stayed for two nights at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel, with rooms starting at $1,400 per night. While in the city, the group also attended a news conference and lunch at the ultra-exclusive and private Musée des Arts Forains, where the series filmed an episode in the latter half of its first season.
One member of the HFPA told the LA Times that they “treated us like kings and queens,” despite the organization’s mandate that forbids members from accepting gifts valued at over $125 for each project.
The report claims Paramount Network, which developed the series before it became a hit on Netflix last year, footed the bill, raising new questions about the Globes’ impartiality and voting record, which has long befuddled viewers.
This year’s nominations drew new significant ire from fans, when critically derided projects like “Emily In Paris” and Sia’s film “Music” received attention, while Michaela Coel’s “I May Destroy You,” which was universally praised for its bracing exploration of trauma and sexual assault, was shut out of the nominations entirely. A handful of Black-led films, including “Da 5 Bloods,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Judas and the Black Messiah, were also snubbed in the ceremony’s top award category, despite being near shoe-ins to compete for the prize at the Oscars later this year.
The investigation into the group’s inner workings revealed a “widespread perception that members can still be wheedled and swayed with special attention” come awards season. Given the relatively small number of members behind the Globes― fewer than 90 HFPA voters compared to the almost 10,000 eligible voters in the film academy ― the report claimed that it’s “far easier logistically” to curry favor with the international journalists, as they “make a nice target.”
The LA Times investigation also found that the HFPA regularly lines its own members pockets, with certain individuals receiving nearly $2 million in payments for serving on various committees and performing other tasks, a practice that experts say could violate IRS guidelines.
While the HFPA has courted a fair share of controversy over the years, its membership is still reeling from Norweigan entertainment journalist Kjersti Flaa’s antitrust lawsuit that claimed the organization effectively functioned as a cartel. Last year, Flaa alleged that a “culture of corruption” and “ethical conflicts” ran rampant at the HFPA, with members receiving “thousands of dollars in emoluments” from studios and networks while adhering to a “code of silence.”
The lawsuit was dismissed in November, with the HFPA denying any wrongdoing at the time. In response to the LA Times investigation, a representative for the organization told the outlet, “None of these allegations has ever been proven in court or in any investigation, [and they] simply repeat old tropes about the HFPA and reflect unconscious bias against the HFPA’s diverse membership.”
The 78th annual Golden Globes air is set to air on NBC later this month, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returning as hosts.