Sixty-four voters for the Golden Globe Awards are threatening to withhold their final ballots after being told that they will not be given tickets to the Globes ceremony in January, TheWrap has learned.
The voters are threatening the action in the wake of an email from Tim Gray, the longtime Hollywood trade journalist who left Variety to become executive vice president of the reformed Golden Globes organization in August. He told voters in an email this weekend that they would be welcome to attend the Globes viewing party, which takes place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, but that they would not have tickets to the Jan. 7 ceremony in that hotel’s International Ballroom.
“I am just in shock,” one member told TheWrap. “We were completely erased, but the award lives on. Highway robbery of the smoothest caliber.” Other members similarly told TheWrap that new members were also furious, having been led to believe they would attend the telecast per usual. “Members new and old are upset,” this person said.
According to that person, a block of 64 members are expected to withhold their votes in protest in the final round of balloting. The Golden Globes currently have 300 voters, so the boycott would affect a little more than 20% of the voters.
TheWrap reached out to Globes president Helen Hoehne and to reps for the Globes and Dick Clark Productions for comment but has not received any response.
When the Globes were run by the now-defunct Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the approximately 90 HFPA members, all of whom were based in Los Angeles, were given tickets to the ceremony and to all the after parties that take place at the Beverly Hilton. But after an industry-wide boycott that came in the wake of a Los Angeles Times investigation — and after many years of TheWrap’s reporting on the issues — regarding the HFPA’s ethical lapses and its lack of any Black members, the HFPA has been dissolved and an additional 200 international journalists have been added to the voting ranks.
Most of the former HFPA members are still voters. All are guaranteed payments of $75,000 a year for five years under a plan they voted to approve when the Globes were bought by Eldridge Industries and Dick Clark Productions and turned from a nonprofit enterprise into a for-profit one.
While the former HFPA members were aware that the deal would leave them outnumbered among Golden Globe voters by new, unpaid voters who were largely based overseas, they did not expect to lose their coveted tickets. One member said this was part of a pattern of Eldridge’s Todd Boehly and his team not committing to promises they made to members when he took over the organization. One of those promises in a recorded meeting, the member said, was that voters would continue to receive seats for the ceremony in the main ballroom.
The International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the Globes are held, has a listed capacity of 1,100 for banquets, 1,200 for receptions and 1,300 as a theater. Including multiple producers on the nominated films and television programs, there are about 250 people nominated for Golden Globes this year.
The Critics Choice Awards, which will take place in a slightly smaller ballroom at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel a week after the Golden Globes, holds a lottery for its voters and accommodates most of them in a viewing room on the premises rather than in the main ballroom.
Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.