The booze-fueled schmooze-fest known as the Golden Globe Awards aired Sunday night on NBC, and–believe it or not–it wasn’t host Ricky Gervais who disrupted the evening. (The normally-sardonic and crass comedian actually played it safe last night, to the dismay of pop culture cynics around the world.)
No, it was the TV shows the Hollywood Foreign Press Association chose to decorate that really showed us the (apparent) state of things. If you look at what programs took home little golden statues last night, you’ll notice an interesting disparity: Only two out of the 11 television categories went to digital platform–Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.–TV shows.
And that’s surprising, given Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Narcos (Netflix) and Transparent (Amazon)–a critical darling featuring a bravura performance from Jeffrey Tambor–led with multiple nominations this year. Plus, more than 20 percent of all the television nominations came from digital spaces.
Last year’s Globes saw the same type of gap–three nods went to streaming network programs. So, it begs the question, what gives? Why are the Globes so hesitant to give shows on Netflix more recognition than they already receive? Yes, it’s wonderful Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) took home the top prize for a comedy show, but where is the love for other shows that continually challenge the White Boys Club that runs most of the entertainment industry? (Only three of the eight TV winners are non-white actors. Only one, Taraji P. Henson, is African American.)
What about Aziz Ansari’s Netflix debut Master of None, easily the best comedy of the season? Or more praise–it’s never enough, really–for Transparent, a show changing the way our nation sees gender one poignant episode at a time? And, hello, where was the shine for Orange Is the New Black, literally everyone’s favorite show? That Netflix program, surprisingly, walked home with goose eggs last night.
If anything, this reveals the Hollywood Foreign Press’ lack of awareness of what the people like (and want). The social buzz around a new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt –which received no noms–dropping is far more potent than any episode of the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Empire and OITNB arguably have very similar rabid fanbases. And, let’s be real, Ruby Rose is everyone’s girl crush–and homegirl didn’t get any goods. Since House of Cards was introduced into the awards circuit in 2014, digital-only shows have only scooped up about six Golden Globes in total. And the number of nominations? Dozens.
Is this a cultural or medium issue? Even with good intentions–a win here and there–perhaps the HFPA sees more weight in performances on “real” TV shows as opposed to on the computer. It’s the same principle that guides one’s affinity for a print newspaper when it is a dying art. People are too set in their ways.
Maybe this is just how the cards fell this year. Maybe there really is nothing to see about this lack of Hulu applause, but it is suspect–if anything. Will we ever see a Globes situation where the majority of winners hail from digital shows?
Consumers know what’s up, but when will Hollywood?