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The dust is settling from the recent and resuscitated Golden Globe Awards, but for some members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it may take longer to recover.
Host Jerrod Carmichael hit the stage and dove straight into the deep end by addressing the organization’s recent controversy and reforms head-on. “This show, the Golden Globe Awards, did not air last year because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — which I won’t say were a racist organization, but they didn’t have a single Black member until George Floyd died [in 2020]. So, do with that information what you will.”
Carmichael, who claimed he was only asked to host because he’s Black, then revealed his salary for the gig ($500,000, though some sources say it was as high as $750,000) and confirmed that he declined three requests to meet with HFPA president Helen Hoehne ahead of the show. Being name-checked so prominently at the top of the telecast — with Carmichael going so far as to call the meeting offer “a trap” — left Hoehne shocked and upset, per multiple sources. Multiple sources say Hoehne was seen being consoled by friends in the ballroom bar.
“The whole thing was so awkward and uncomfortable,” says one source. Adds another: “The show needs to be fun, and it didn’t feel fun” because of the heaviness of some of the jokes. “What did you expect?” asks an additional source.
One more source says it’s all untrue. An insider with ties to HFPA reiterated that folks sitting at Hoehne’s table refute the above claims of her being emotional over what was said on stage. “It’s disappointing and perplexing that people would take this approach to try to hurt Helen. It doesn’t accurately reflect the resilient, positive and effective leader that she is.”
Don’t expect all HFPA members to weigh in: On their Golden Globes Around the World podcast, HFPA members Jenny Cooney, Scott Orlin and Elisabeth Sereda recapped their favorite moments from the night but declined to offer takes on Carmichael.
“We’re not going to talk about the host because everybody has their own opinion on the host,” Cooney said near the top of the podcast. “We’re just going to skip right on ahead to the rest of the show.”
Reps for the HFPA and Carmichael had no comment.
Jan. 18, 10:30 p.m.: Updated with additional comments from a source close to the HFPA.
A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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Jamie Lee Curtis