When the Golden Globe Award nominations came rolling in, three words stuck out like a sore thumb: Emily in Paris.
The Netflix show, which had been torn apart by critics everywhere — and in France especially — had been nominated not once, but twice, for the annual awards ceremony: best comedy for musical series and best actress in a comedy or musical for Lily Collins’ performance.
Historically, the Golden Globe winners’ list is a telltale sign of who you can expect to win big come the Academy Awards. So the inclusion of the Darren Star series—and equally, the exclusion of Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You—naturally raised questions. Even one of Emily in Paris‘ writers, Deborah Copaken, admitted she was shocked a show about “a white American selling luxury whiteness” was nominated.
Following the news, many an op-ed was written and speculation about the ethics of the Golden Globes started brewing. On celebrity Instagram account @DeuxMoi, anonymous followers alleged they’d been tasked to write handwritten notes from actors to each member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a group of 87 international journalists who vote on the annual Golden Globe Awards for the television and film industry. Others said some celebrities went so far as to host private parties and invite judges in a bid to receive a nod. It should be noted Instagram account is a collection of unverified gossip submissions so take this with a grain of salt.
But as rumors swirled, the Los Angeles Times conducted an investigation into how Emily in Paris got its nomination, the results of which were published today, alleging ethical conflicts and a “culture of corruption.”
The report covers the “widespread perception” among Hollywood’s awards campaigners “that members can still be wheedled and swayed with special attention and access to A-list stars with whom they can take selfies to post on Instagram.” More specifically, it revealed that Emily in Paris creators flew 30 HFPA journalists to France and put them up in $1400 per night hotel rooms so they could visit the show’s set during filming. “They treated us like kings and queens,” one member who participated in the junket told the Times.
The allegations are reminiscent of Ricky Gervais’ 2016 Golden Globes monologue when he called the awards “worthless” and “a bit of metal that some nice old confused journalists wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you.”
In response to the report, the HFPA said in a statement, “None of these allegations has ever been proven in court or in any investigation, [and they] simply repeat old tropes about the HFPA and reflect unconscious bias against the HFPA’s diverse membership.”
Let’s hope that the HFPA journalists could speak French better than Emily in Paris when they were treated to an all-expenses trip to the city.
Let’s also hope that this embarrassing revelation prompts every Hollywood awards ceremony to do better—much better—next year.
Merci beaucoup, Los Angeles Times.