80 Years of The Hollywood Reporter
If you think the Golden Globes experienced controversy over Ricky Gervais’ comments, that was nothing compared to 1968’s show. On Feb. 12 of that year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association handed out its statuettes at The Shrine to such actors as Anne Bancroft for The Graduate and Richard Harris for Camelot — and soon after, the FCC launched an investigation into just how sealed those proverbial awards-show envelopes really were. On May 2, the commission charged that broadcaster NBC had “misled the public” due to “a lack of secrecy regarding the identification of the winners.” In other words, stars knew in advance they’d be picking up a Globe. It wasn’t as though Hollywood was shocked. “The only way the foreign press could insure getting the show on TV was to have big stars participating,” recalls Dale Olson, who attended that year as a publicist for best drama winner In the Heat of the Night. “The HFPA was promoting itself as much as the studios were promoting their movies.” To put some bite into the charges, the FCC told NBC l’affaire Globe would be taken into consideration when renewing the license of NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate, KNBC-TV. That did it for the network: The telecast was dropped, and the show wasn’t back on the air until 1976 with Metromedia. It didn’t return to NBC until two years later — though not for long. Pia Zadora was waiting in the wings.