The Golden Globes has dropped 18 voters who are former members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and will not be voting for the 81st awards, TheWrap has learned.
The Globes sent an email informing studios of the change, which was obtained by TheWrap, and did not give a reason for the change. The list included three people – Munawar Hosain, Aniko Navai and Howaida Hamdy Serour – who were expelled after investigations into violations of the Globes’ code of conduct. Two of those members, Hosain and Hamdy Serous, had been investigated by TheWrap.
All the members had been among the former HFPA members who were paid $75,000 per year under the agreement to sell the organization to Eldridge Industries.
The Globes did not respond to a request for comment on the email to studios, or to explain why the members had been dropped as voters.
The awards are scheduled to take place on Jan. 7, 2024. After ending a contract with NBC this year does not have a deal in pace for a telecast.
The move is the latest in a string of changes designed to restart the Golden Globes as a for-profit enterprise, to take away control from the scandal-plagued HFPA and give the long-running awards show a larger, more diverse and more credible body of voters. At stake is the future of the Globes, which do not currently have a broadcast deal and are fighting to regain the support of Hollywood studios and publicists.
The list also contains nine former voters who had emeritus status in the HFPA. Emeritus members were stripped of their voting privileges under controversial new bylaws that were passed in 2021, but those rules were amended in 2022 to allow emeritus members “in good standing” to retain the right to vote.
The HFPA is being dissolved this year under a reorganization that takes the Globes from the auspices of the non-profit HFPA and turns it into a for-profit venture co-owned by Eldridge Industries and Dick Clark Productions. Its former members, though, were invited to remain as Globes voters with guaranteed yearly salaries of $75,000 each, or given the option of leaving the organization and collecting a $225,000 severance payment.
Most of the people on the list of 18 are believed to have accepted the second option.
The Golden Globes website currently lists 286 voters, of whom 71 are former HFPA members in line to receive the $75,000 annual salary. Another 86 are unpaid international voters who cast ballots for the Globes earlier this year, while an additional 129 are new (and also unpaid) international voters.
While the Globes initially reached out to the International Film Critics Association, FIPRESCI, offering its members those unpaid slots as voters, only nine critics currently listed as FIPRESCI members are also on the Globes’ list of voters.
TheWrap has reached out to the Golden Globes to confirm that this is an accurate list of voters for the 81st Globes, but has not received a response.
The Sept. 25 email from Golden Globes Vice President of Operations & Business Development Karie DiNardo reads as follows:
The following are no longer Golden Globe voters.
Bahiana, Ana Maria
de Souza, Noel
Morisse, Aud Berggren
Serour, Howaida Hamdy
The email did not give any additional details.
In late August, the Globes announced the nine members of a newly formed Membership Board of Directors, which was tasked with “selecting, ratifying and accrediting journalists as voting members” for the 81st Globes. Members of that board included four former HFPA members, among them former HFPA president and current Golden Globes president Helen Hoehne; Tim Gray, who recently ended a lengthy career with Variety to become the executive vice president of the Golden Globes; and professionals affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival and the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema.
The Globes recently named Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirschner the producers of their 81st awards ceremony. Its longtime broadcast partner, NBC, declined to air the show in 2022 after scandals rocked the HFPA over a lack of diversity among its membership and questionable financing. NBC returned for a one-off airing in 2023, but the network has not agreed to a new deal Globes is currently looking for a network or streaming platform to host the upcoming show.
In March 2021, following an exposé in the L.A. Times, HFPA promised to “make transformational change,” including creating more transparency in voting, eligibility and membership. Eventually, that led to the dissolution of the HFPA and the attempted transformation of the Globes at the hands of Eldridge owner Todd Boehly, who owns a stake in the Globes, Dick Clark Productions, the Beverly Hilton Hotel where the awards show is held and many of the Hollywood trade publications (but not TheWrap) that cover the show and the industry.