HBO’s U.K.-based series “I May Destroy You,” which was critically acclaimed in 2020, also got shut out in this year’s Globe nominations. In the case of “Bridgerton,” the surprise hit Netflix series produced by Shonda Rhimes, an individual close to the project said the HFPA initially declined the streamer’s request for a press conference last December and suddenly asked for one a few weeks later — just days before the deadline for Golden Globes ballots. “They declined conferencing the show prelaunch,” the insider said, referring to a press conference held before a show debuts. “They came back after launch, like a lot of people who didn’t know what it was… After the New Year, it was, ‘We have to do this,’ three or four days before ballots close.” The individual close to the HFPA said the group held a press conference with stars Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor on Jan. 8, just before nomination ballots were due. Update: Rhimes also responded to this story with a tweet about her experience with the HFPA rejecting a press conference for “Bridgerton.”
For the WHEN THEY SEE US/ HFPA press conference, less than 20 of them showed up. Based on the quality of their questions, I jokingly asked “Have any of you seen the series?” Crickets. More came in the room when the pix were to be taken, at which time two peddled their scripts. https://t.co/pBWbUz2FZ3 pic.twitter.com/5XbiSeOBDz— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 16, 2021
In the end, “Bridgerton” was completely snubbed for Globes nominations. The show received two nominations for next month’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, for best ensemble in a drama series and Page as lead actor in a drama series. According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, the HFPA also turned down requests from Universal to host events for “Girls Trip,” a 2017 comedy starring Tiffany Haddish, and “Queen and Slim,” a 2019 drama written by Lena Waithe and directed by Melina Matsoukas. The HFPA did not hold a press conference for “Girls Trip,” a rollicking comedy from director Malcolm Lee that earned rave reviews for Haddish as one of a group of friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival and rekindle their relationships. The movie was a huge hit that grossed $140 million at the box office — and Haddish won the Best Supporting Actress prize from the New York Film Critics Circle. But the comedy didn’t receive a single Globes nomination. Jada Pinkett Smith, who co-starred in “Girls Trip” with Haddish, went public with her displeasure over the way she said the film had been treated by HFPA. “I’m not upset about @TiffanyHaddish or @GirlsTripMovie not getting a nom…I’m discouraged about the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press/goldenglobes wouldn’t even WATCH the movie,” Pinkett Smith tweeted. “People were annoyed at the time,” an individual close to the movie told TheWrap. “Tiffany Haddish did not do a press conference. She was not nominated… (Her team) was disappointed at the time, and it did slow down the Oscar talk.” A rep for Universal declined to comment. The individual close to the HFPA said no press conference was held for the film because members were unable to travel to New Orleans for the junket. The 2019 film “Queen & Slim” generated “a lot of back and forth” over scheduling screenings and a press conference, an individual with knowledge of that project said, adding that there were a lot of no-shows and failures to RSVP from HFPA members. The film, starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple on a first date whose evening takes an unexpected turn when a cop pulls them over for a minor traffic violation, received lots of awards recognition from other groups. The drama won Best Movie at the BET Awards and earned nominations for Kaluuya at the American Film Awards and for Matsoukas at the DGA Awards. Director Matsoukas told Variety in 2019 that members had skipped multiple screenings of “Queen & Slim” that had been set for them, and therefore wasn’t surprised when the film got shut out for Globe nominations. An individual with knowledge of the project confirmed that Universal had set up screenings for “Queen & Slim” and that few HFPA members attended. “They were offered screenings and did not attend and refused a presser,” the individual said. However, the first HFPA insider said that a press conference “had been on the calendar for quite a bit of time” with Kaluuya, Turner-Smith, Matsoukas and Waithe until the studio decided to cancel. A set visit was also canceled by the studio due to a change in shooting schedule. Universal declined to comment. Insiders said that they see an unequal treatment of Black-led projects as more evidence of bias, another challenge that the HFPA must address in its high-stakes battle to salvage its reputation amid mounting frustration with the group’s lack of diversity. The issue has become a rallying cry for radical change, triggered by the fact that the 87-member organization comprised of foreign journalists has no Black members and has been accused of self-dealing through $2 million in annual payments to members for basic committee work.
HFPA rejected our press conference. Until it was a "surprise hit" (Grey's, Scandal, Murder -SURPRISE!) And yet they STILL asked me to show up in person to present at the Globes. We're not the only ones. This is why HFPA's house is on fire.They lit the flame w/their own ignorance. https://t.co/RPZaCa4ty3— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) March 16, 2021