Golden Globes Change Eligibility Rules In Response To COVID-19

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

As we work deeper and deeper into this theatrical year, industries that are affected by the lack of new movies are constantly adjusting. This even includes the cottage industry that exists around the annual awards season in Hollywood. Because if you don’t have movies, you can’t have awards winners. And Bloodshot can’t sweep every category. Right?

With that being the case, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association again loosened restrictions on what it would be considered an eligible film for the group’s Golden Globes because theaters remains closed. Variety notes that the HFPA has indefinitely extended the deadline on its current guidelines about when a movie needed to be screened for HFPA members at third-party facilities in the Greater Los Angeles area. That requirement no longer exists (because such outlets remain closed).

Now, thanks to these new guidelines, movie distributors can set up screenings for HFPA members, but must also provide all HFPA members with streaming links or DVD copies of eligible films so that members can view the movies at home and consider them for Golden Globe recognition.

Finally, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has also relaxed the guideline that a movie had to play a theater or pay-per-view cable or digital delivery in order to be eligible for Golden Globes consideration. Now, the Globes will count movies that had a theatrical release planned in Los Angeles starting on March 15, but it will not include a cut-off date.

Basically, if you are a movie, you can be considered for a Golden Globe this year. Good new, Trolls World Tour and Pete Davidson’s The King of Staten Island.

Pete Davidson in The King of Staten Island

The Globes are acting as the canary in the coal mine for this awards season, as other groups pay attention and make their own decisions for how to treat the reduced slate of available films. All eyes will be on the Academy to see what criteria they single out for the Oscars. And after that, there will be moves by the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association, the Independent Spirit Awards, and so on.

But the reduced-slate concern is legit. Cannes already cancelled its film festival this year, as did SXSW. Major film festivals in Toronto and Venice are inching their way forward, but it’s unclear if they will have as full of a slate as they have in year’s past. So how many movies will be ready to screen in time for awards contention. And if a movie ends up taking Best Picture in a year that it faced reduced competition, will there be an asterisk next to its title in the record books?

These are just a few of the questions we’ll debate as we head into the rest of the year. Right now, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are schedule to host the 2021 Golden Globes, and they will air on NBC early next year at a TBD date.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.