EXCLUSIVE: New money scandal muddies bid to get Golden Globes back on TV after NBC dropped this year’s show and Tom Cruise returned his awards when it was revealed no black voters were involved in choosing Hollywood’s winners

  •  A deal to get the Golden Globes back on TV is ‘hanging by a thread’ as a new scandal has hit the organization behind the glitzy annual awards show.
  • Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are to receive $75,000 each for five years under a new deal
  • NBC dropped the Globes this year after it was revealed that the organization had no black members
  • Tom Cruise returned his three Globes in disgust while Mark Ruffalo said he was .neither happy nor proud’ that he had been nominated
  • Scarlett Johansson called for Hollywood to ‘step back’ from the Globes saying questions she had been asked by HFPA members ‘bordered on sexual harassment’ 
  • With just five months to go before its next awards, the show has no host, no confirmed event date, no star supporters and no confirmed broadcaster. 

A deal to get the Golden Globes back on television is ‘hanging by a thread’, sources say, as a new scandal has hit the organization behind the glitzy annual awards show.

Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – supposedly made up of journalists who cover Tinseltown – will each receive $75,000 a year after the group was restructured.

And they hope that this ‘salary’ will go part way to banning the journalists from receiving gifts that have in the past led to accusations of bribery in the selection of winning movies, actors and TV shows.

NBC dropped the Globes this year after it was revealed that the HFPA had no black members. Tom Cruise returned his Globes in disgust while Mark Ruffalo said he was ‘not proud or happy’ to have been nominated.

That meant a massive drop-off in cash for the group, that has received up to $31 million per show from the network.

The Globes have always been known for their laidback atmosphere as the free drink flowed. Here the Invictus table cheers on its nomination in 2010

There was no glitz or glamour at the 2022 Globes as the show was neither televised nor live streamed, with no audience members, celebrity presenters or press members in attendance

Tom Cruise (pictured with Michelle Pfeiffer) handed back the Best Dramatic Actor Golden Globe he won in 1990 fo his role in Born on the Fourth of July

Cruise also returned the Globes he won for Jerry Maguire in 1997 (left) and Magnolia in 2000

For years the Globes has preceded the Oscars and gotten huge publicity despite its small base of voters. The HFPA provided free drink at the even that led to a much more laid back atmosphere than at the more stuffy Academy Awards.

But now a private company has taken over the previously nonprofit organization.

The takeover and cash handouts to members have raised fears that the HFPA’s pot of at least $50million, supposedly meant for charitable uses, will be frittered away on its Hollywood insider membership.

But the organization says the new deal will instead allow it to grow its charitable giving, and will separate its commercial amd charitable arms.

The HFPA has been in turmoil following a series of scandals last year over a lack of racial diversity in its membership and allegations of lavish gifts to its voters by Globe contenders.

NBC pulled their broadcast of the awards show in January following the scandal.

Sources now say that members’ hopes of a swift return to primetime in early 2023 are ‘hanging by a thread’, even though the organization has vowed to be fairer, more diverse and has banned gifts.

But now, with just five months to go before its next awards, the show has no host, no confirmed event date, no star supporters and no confirmed broadcaster.

One insider told DailyMail.com that NBC has ‘yet to agree to a deal with the HFPA after so much turmoil and uncertainty from Hollywood’s biggest agencies, PR firms and talent about whether there has been enough change within the organization.’

‘There is also confusion about what the recent takeover of the business means for the awards and the future,’ the source added.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association will now give each of its members $75,000 a year

‘There is grave concern that NBC are not on board at this stage.

‘They have lobbied the network, but there’s an alarming quiet currently.

‘Some of the executive team have made enquiries with streaming services like Amazon and Netflix. Netflix chiefs have enjoyed a good relationship with the HFPA, which could help them.

‘However without star attendees and support from studios, any ceremony will be of zero interest to the public.

‘Time is running out and there is deep concern now among some members about whether the Globes will be on a TV network in 2023, prompting the long term demise of the night.’

But another source said that the HFPA is in talks with the broadcaster for some kind of 2023 deal – be it network or streaming on NBC’s Peacock service.

A spokeswoman for NBC declined to comment.

Last year the Globes was broadcast live only on the HFPA’s website with members and invited benefactors and charity chiefs invited to the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger were the only celebrities to be involved, filming video messages praising the HFPA’s philanthropic and creative work.

Earlier this month the organization agreed to be taken over by a private company, and separate off its charitable wing.

Eldridge Industries LLC will now create a new private entity to manage the HFPA’s Golden Globes assets and keep its charitable and philanthropic programs in a separate, non-profit entity.

The new private company will acquire all rights for the Golden Globes intellectual property.

Eldridge is owned and run by investor Todd Boehly, 48, who has been acting as interim CEO of the HFPA since November.

His acquisition has bolstered his position as a Hollywood media mogul, having also bought The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 and completed a merger in 2020 that made him chairman of the parent company for Rolling Stone Magazine, Billboard and Variety.

He is a part owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team and the WNBA team the LA Sparks.

Insiders say that the 105 members of the HFPA will secure personal deals with the takeover, including pay of at least $75,000 a year, which is being presented as wages.

Mark Ruffalo said he was ‘neither proud nor happy’ that he had been nominated for a Globe in 2015 for Infinitely Polar Bear

Scarlett Johansson declared she would not attend any HFPA events due to ‘sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment’

Some members have been told that this deal will stay in place for at least five years – which would create a total cost of at least $39million.

The HFPA declined to comment on its future plans.

In May 202`, the HFPA promised to increase membership by 50% within 18 months after a Los Angeles Times exposé revealed none of their members at the time were black. 

So far they are less than half way toward that goal, with just 21 new members .  Most of the additions were people of color, and almost half were women.

One source close to several HFPA members told DailyMail.com the $75,000-per-member plans were ‘a huge deal’.

‘When those sums and payments were mentioned, it was a huge deal,’ the source said.

‘Some of the members worried that the HFPA was finished and that their journalistic futures were in peril.

‘But the effective annual wage will see them good for a couple of years at least, during which time Eldridge hope to revive the organization, the show and image.

‘The HFPA are effectively selling Eldridge the rights to the Golden Globes. So as part of that process, Eldridge will use funds to pay the HFPA, which then is broken down as fees to each member.’  

Another source, a respected foreign journalist, revealed: ‘The payments and deal has caused quite a stir within the membership group. It is no secret that there are some that have not done or contributed a thing since joining, and they will now get these payments.

‘There is still no confirmation that the HFPA’s reputation will be revamped and that Hollywood studios, agents and PR companies will allow them access to films and talent. 

‘It is a very peculiar situation.’  

HFPA members range from respected journalists at top publications, to freelancers who rarely publish.

Brazilian journalist member Ana Maria Bahiana has written six books including a 2006 bestseller in her home country.

West Side Story dominated the Comedy or Musical movies division at January’s Golden Globes, winning three awards – Best Movie, Best Actress (Rachel Zegler) and Best Supporting Actress (Ariana DeBose)

Will Smith could not show up to collect his Golden Globe in January for playing Venus and Serena’s father Richard Williams in King Richard. Two months later he did attend the Oscars where he slapped Chris Rock in the face

Netflix ‘s The Power of the Dog cleaned up on the Drama awards, winning three of the seven awards it was nominated for

Gilda Baum-Lappe, a Mexican member, is a former Televisa News correspondent, and ‘currently writes for En5 Mexico and takes photographs for Hola, Moi and Quien’ according to her HFPA website biography. An interview with her on Spanish site Desde Hollywood describes her as ‘one of the Latin American pioneers in entertainment journalism’.

But an online search for stories written by Baum-Lappe in the past 10 years yielded no results.

Russian member Alexander Nevsky is an actor and bodybuilder, with no discernable journalistic career.

One of the newest members, Egypt’s Mico Saad, has an IMDb page listing him as an actor and filmmaker, but does not list any top journalistic credentials.

However, as part of his membership application process Saad will have submitted ‘eight examples of ‘journalistic work product from the past two years, evidence of payment for their journalistic work, and at least one letter of recommendation from a professional active in the journalism industry,’ according to the HFPA website.

One source said the Globes’ future still hangs in the balance without celebrity backing.

‘Without Hollywood’s biggest players on board, there can be no star studded Globes ceremony. Without A-listers and movie icons at the event, then effectively trying to sell a TV show to a major network or streamer becomes impossible,’ the source close to HFPA said.

Philip Berk was expelled from the HFPA for allegedly calling Black Lives Matter a ‘racist hate movement’ 

Many famous faces have spoken out against the organization, notably after it was revealed that no black people were in the HFPA, while Scarlett Johansson has alleged that she faced ‘sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment,’ and urged Hollywood to take a collective ‘step back’ from the Globes.

The source also said they were concerned about the fate of an HFPA pot of at least $50million held in cash bank accounts and in assets.

‘Nothing has been said about where these enormous sums of money will go. Many would argue that a great way to help improve their image would be to donate tens of millions to causes close to Hollywood studios. It is an absolute mystery about what will happen with these large cash sums now that the takeover is in place.’

Changing the demographic balance of the HFPA may mean increasing members – which could create further financial strain without the blockbuster $25-30million annual NBC broadcast deals it has enjoyed in the past.

As of October 2021, it had 105 members, 57% women, six Black, 12 Latino, 18 Asian, and nine Middle Eastern.

Among the 21 new members are Raffi Boghosian from Dubai-based TV news channel Al Arabiya, Yong Chavez from Filipino station ABS-CBN, and Eun Seon Ha, a journalist for the Korean Times.

The new membership was added in response to controversies including an email leaked last year, written by former HFPA president Philip Berk, which called Black Lives Matter a ‘hate movement’.

In January DailyMail.com revealed the embattled organization, a nonprofit that trumpets its charitable grants, has been sitting on a $62million cash pile and gave out less than 10% in grants according to its most recent filings.

The HFPA raised $32million in one year and grew its coffers by $15million but gave just $5.9million to charitable causes, 2019 documents filed with the IRS revealed.

The nonprofit spent almost as much in salaries, doling out $3.4million paying its staff.

The HFPA said it is a nonprofit trade organization not a charity so it is not required to make donations, though it chooses to give millions to charitable causes.

Last month it announced $4.5million of new charitable grants.

A spokesman told DailyMail.com their restructuring includes plans to increase their charitable giving.

‘The HFPA’s first and foremost concern was the preservation of its philanthropic and charitable giving,’ the spokesman, James Lee, said.

‘It’s our anticipation that the amounts provided for charitable giving will grow over time.

‘Charitable giving has been at the core of the HFPA’s mission ever since it was founded and we are never going to stray from that mission.’

Its latest accounts filed with the IRS for the year to June 2019 show that the 2018 Globes hosted by Seth Meyers brought in over $31million for the organization.

The IRS documents show that the nonprofit had $16.5million of expenses, leaving it with a $15.6million profit.

However, instead of donating the bumper year’s proceeds to charitable organizations and projects, it squirreled away $9.7million of its profits and spent just $5.9million on grants for good causes.

By the end of June 2019 the organization listed $54,970,637 in savings and temporary cash investments, earning six figures interest annually. Their total assets were valued at over $62m.

Its current cash pile according to its latest accounts is now larger than the total the nonprofit has given to good causes in the past quarter century.

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