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With the presence of both film and TV stars, free-flowing booze, unpredictable winners and a maze of after-parties, there is no night in Hollywood quite like Golden Globes night. The Hollywood Reporter was on the scene as the 73rd edition went down at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday night, and here’s what it looked like inside the sometimes chaotic event.
1) There was a major security presence this year.
In the wake of the recent Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association wasn’t taking any chances. It moved the entry-point for those arriving at the Globes and the after-parties from the Wilshire Blvd. side of the Hilton to a Century City parking lot, where guests had to pass through security checks before boarding shuttles over to the top of the red carpet. The change did not go smoothly: some experienced waits of as long as two hours from arriving at the parking lot to arriving at the red carpet. FBI agents were among the law enforcement officers protecting the event, and at the Hilton there were numerous people wearing body armor and headsets patrolling the halls with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.
2) The red carpet was a circus.
I arrived a few hours before the ceremony began to do an interview on CNN, and even then things were getting raucous, with people passing out bottles of champagne to any takers on or around the red carpet. Among the more colorful characters who I saw in action: Katharine “Kat” Kramer, the daughter of the late filmmaker Stanley Kramer, who was offering herself up for interviews by noting that she was Miss Golden Globe of 1990, along with two Canadian twins who recently appeared on the Ellen show who became her red carpet correspondents. Their constant squealing and shrieking freaked out many passersby and ticked off the actual reporters near them. “It got really obnoxious,” one member of the media told me. “It could be considered torture in some countries.”
3) The attendees were rude.
Some of it can be chalked up to booze, but a lot of it was just bad manners: guests in the ballroom, particularly on the third tier of seating — the section just outside the view of cameras, which is traversed by anyone coming to or from the restrooms or in and out of the ballroom — talked increasingly loudly throughout the show. Ricky Gervais and Tom Hanks had to chastise them from the podium to quiet down. Some even began accosting more prominent attendees for selfies as they passed through their section. Some of the rudest people were well-known TV journalists who came inside after working the red carpet. The HFPA had plenty of security inside the room, but it was unclear what their function was; in the future, they need to position them in the top tier.
4) The losers were pissed.
Thanks to the dominance of Fox’s titles The Revenant, The Martian and Joy at the ceremony, a number of other high-profile contenders were completely shut out, including The Weinstein Co.’s Carol (which came in with more Golden Globes noms than any other film), Open Road’s Spotlight (which was widely regarded as the Oscar frontrunner coming into the night), Warner Bros.’ Mad Max: Fury Road (which still could land more Oscar noms than any other film) and Paramount’s The Big Short (which some thought was posed to become the new Oscar frontrunner if it did well at the Globes). As a result, high-level execs and consultants associated with some of those films were extremely unhappy as they left the ballroom and headed to the after-parties. One loudly vented, “If you feel we’re desperate put me on the phone ’cause I will not allow this!”
5) Newer streaming networks announced their presence this year on and off the show.
As Gervais noted in his opening monologue, NBC, like the other broadcast networks, was largely absent from this year’s Globe nominations, displaced by cable and streaming networks that in some cases didn’t event exist just a few years ago. Among them: Hulu (with its best musical/comedy series nominee Casual) and Amazon (which beat itself in the best musical/comedy series and best actor in a musical/comedy series category, with Mozart in the Jungle topping Transparent and Mozart‘s Gael Garcia Bernal topping Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor). Amazon also had a huge presence in the Hilton lobby, with a massive board proclaiming the operation’s name right by the elevators to the upper floors, where, for the first time, it hosted its own party, as well.
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