The 79th Golden Globe Awards took place on Sunday night, but if you’re not obsessed with tracking awards season, you might be forgiven for not knowing it even happened. The much more subdued and untelevised event went on as scheduled after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the small organization behind the Golden Globes, was embroiled in a series of controversies over the past year, but it was the tweets announcing those wins, rather than the wins themselves, that got people talking about the Golden Globes again.
It’s been a rough year for the HFPA. Jokes about the organization, which included its eclectic choices in nominations and wins, its obsession with celebrity, and decades of alleged corruption, have been widespread for years. Just before the 2021 ceremony, a damning Los Angeles Times report revealed that the HFPA hasn’t had any Black members in more than 20 years. More stories emerged, including a lavish Emily in Paris set visit that some suspected may have led to the series being nominated and complaints from filmmakers and talent about being mistreated and disrespected during press junkets. According to Shonda Rhimes, the HFPA was dismissive toward and rejected projects with Black-led casts for press conferences, and even Bridgerton didn’t get one until it became what was then Netflix’s biggest original show.
As a result, NBC dropped the broadcast, the HFPA was publicly shamed across the entertainment industry, and while it did add several new members in an attempt to diversify its ranks, most of the nominees barely acknowledged the nomination. The HFPA only announced its plans for the ceremony a few days beforehand, and according to reports, the HFPA failed to get any celebrities to present awards. Instead, the ceremony would take place over a dinner attended by “select members and grantees,” which would be an even smaller affair thanks to the Omicron variant of COVID.
So, on Sunday night, the Golden Globes tweeted out the winners as planned.
But it didn’t take long for Twitter to latch onto the tweets as its own kind of performance art. In several categories, the Golden Globes didn’t even include the name of the show or movie the person won for. If you were paying attention to what was nominated in the first place or are plugged into what came out last year, you might be aware that Jean Smart won best actress in a TV series—musical or comedy for Hacks or that Kenneth Branagh won best screenplay for Belfast, but you won’t find that information on the Golden Globes Twitter. Some winners, such as Sarah Snook for Succession, did eventually get that treatment.
“Even the Golden Globes tweet-bot is drunk and corrupt, you’ve got to respect the brand consistency,” New Yorker critic Emily Nussbaum tweeted.
In other cases, the weird performance art of the Golden Globes’ tweets came in how they were framed. For Smart’s win, the Golden Globes said, “Cheers to the ladies who make us laugh.” When Andrew Garfield won best actor in a musical or comedy, the account tweeted, “It takes 43 muscles to smile. Thanks for the work out” accompanied by an emoji lifting weights. The results were groan-inducing, corny as hell, and also made little sense compared to the winners they were paired against.
And some people poked fun at the lack of a ceremony itself.
The most bizarre tweet came when the HFPA announced Steven Spielberg’s version of West Side Story as the winner of best motion picture musical or comedy in a now-deleted tweet with “If laughter is the best medicine @WestSideMovie is the cure for what ails you.”
You know, the famously hilarious movie that is a spin on the world’s most famous Shakespearean tragedy.
Eventually, the Golden Globes reposted the sentiment by calling music the best medicine.
We reached out to the HFPA for comment.