Golden Globes: Surviving Shuttlegate, an A-List Transportation Debacle

Shuttle Disaster - S 2016
Seth Abramovitch

“It was like a prison camp," an actress is overheard saying, as delays in Century City forced guests to wait more than two hours. Another prominent indie actress ended up in tears.

Awards season delivered its first scandal of 2016 on Sunday night minutes after the Golden Globes telecast ended: Shuttlegate.

Hundreds, and by some estimates well more than a thousand, would-be Golden Globes revelers gathered in the parking structure at 1999 Avenue of the Stars in Century City, where official party shuttles were to transfer guests to post-show events hosted by HBO, Weinstein/Netflix, Fox, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros./InStyle, Amazon and more. And that’s exactly what they did, gather and wait.

Many industry professionals caught in the line — everyone from agents, managers, executives and even TV stars and other celebs — waited more than two hours after parking their cars to board a shuttle and ride 1.5 miles to the Beverly Hilton, a distance that typically takes five minutes by car. According to those familiar with the situation, construction on Santa Monica Boulevard and added security measures like metal detectors at the parking structure and the Hilton added to the shuttle debacle.

Hundreds wait in lines to get shuttled to the Hilton.

But it was clear to anyone waiting that there simply weren’t enough shuttles moving back and forth in what marked the first year that the majority of party guests were required to use the shuttles to gain access to the events at the Beverly Hilton. (Notables like studio chiefs, movie stars and network heads use car services and are allowed to be dropped off directly at the hotel.)

"It was like a prison camp," actress Jaime King was overheard complaining after taking a seat on a shuttle bus after waiting more than an hour. Maybe the actress was joking, but in relative terms it was not uncommon to overhear people inside the structure complaining of being held captive or held in a camp containing the best-dressed prisoners.

It was also a scene that looked more like an after-hours party than a pre-event gathering as many of the women in line were holding their stilettos in hand and walking around barefoot, while the men were huffing and puffing at the situation. One impatient man in the queue started screaming, "What's going on! What's going on!" (One barefoot attendee who waited two and a half hours tells THR: "It was a f—ing nightmare!")

While King waited, one THR spy said that others were less patient, which is somewhat predictable in a town dominated by people who despise lines and are used to VIP treatment so freely given to boldfaced names.

"No one expected to have to stand in their heels for two hours straight," noted one reveler. "Also there was an issue getting cars coming in to park and Lyfts and other taxis out during the 8 p.m. hour because the line got into the way of the outgoing vehicles. There was literally an attendant keeping the line single file and trying to control the traffic so no one got hit."

Single file lines formed inside the parking structure.

Security personnel also seemed to be overheated due to the mess. "I saw one of the security heads yell at a colleague at the metal detector for letting a band cut the entire line," relayed one guest. 

Due to the logjam of people, post-show parties that are typically packed before 9 p.m. were sparsely populated with revelers.

Spotted outside the Weinstein/Netflix party shortly after 11 p.m., HFPA president Lorenzo Soria told THR that he was unaware of any issues. "I know everyone was being shuttled but if something went wrong, this is the first I'm hearing of it. The afterparty is a joint operation of the afterparty hosts. Obviously we want everything to run smoothly," he said.

Attempts to reach reps for the Golden Globes as well as individual event hosts went unreturned as of press time. 

Also outside the Weinstein/Netflix party, actress Jodie Sweetin told THR that she arrived to the Century City parking garage at 8:30 p.m. only to finally arrive to the aforementioned party at 11 p.m. "It was like the worst DMV nightmare," she said. 

A well-known industry publicist brushed off the shuttle chatter, chastizising industry professionals for their egos. "People in L.A. are way too impatient. Calm the f— down. There's a lot of construction and security issues."