Golden Globes ceremony plays out with no stars or TV audience but one awkward Twitter feed

This illustration photo shows a person checking the Golden Globe Awards online via the Golden Globes Twitter account, in Los Angeles, January 9, 2022. -
"The Power of the Dog" and "West Side Story" took top film prizes at an untelevised Golden Globes, largely ignored by Hollywood, unveiled via social media. (Photo by Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images)

All week long, variations of the same joke have been circulating. It goes something like this: If the Golden Globe winners are announced and there are no celebrities to collect the statuettes or a television audience to watch the ceremony, did it really happen?

The 79th Annual Golden Globes did indeed take place Sunday night at their usual venue, Los Angeles’s Beverly Hilton, but there was absolutely nothing usual about this year’s stripped-down affair. The usually glitzy Globes, traditionally one of the most-watched award shows of the year, was transformed from a worldwide telecast to a Twitter thread. A very odd Twitter thread, to put it kindly.

Sunday capped a year of upheaval for the Globes and its voting body the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, canceled both figuratively and literally — with nearly the entire entertainment industry boycotting the fête after reports exposing HFPA’s lack of diversity and dubious practices, while its regular television partner, NBC, nixing the annual broadcast. (Not boycotting the Globes? Snoop Dogg, who announced this year’s nominations, mispronunciations and all. And Jamie Lee Curtis, but more on her later.)

Pandemic or not, the contrasts between Sunday’s private, celebrity-less event and the star-studded ceremonies of years past were stark. There were no traffic closings in Beverly Hills. No limos arriving. No pre-shows. No sprawling red carpet. No Amy Poehler, Tina Fey or Ricky Gervais roasting HFPA members to their faces. No winners in attendance. No press, either, beyond HFPA members. No maze of after-parties surrounding the Hilton’s grounds into the early morning.

According to The Playlist’s Gregory Ellwood, there were roughly only 300 people at the event, filling up only the front of The Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom.

There were still Golden Globes doled out in the usual 25 film and television categories.

But the HFPA’s decision to not even to live-stream the event was particularly baffling. Even though NBC pulled the plug on its telecast, the network reportedly had no issue with the HFPA moving forward with a YouTube feed. Was the HFPA attempting to save face and avoid more ridicule from snarky social media commentators? Or did the group simply not think the expense was worth the effort? We’d bet on the former.

Instead, winners — announced inside the Beverly Hilton by HFPA grant recipients — were unveiled to the world via the Golden Globes Twitter. It was not smooth, with the Globes’ tweets neglecting to mention what project actors and filmmakers were being rewarded for within.

At one point, the Globes appeared to imply that its winner for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the very famous musical West Side Story, was a laugh-filled comedy. (Narrator: It definitely is not.)

“If laughter is the best medicine @WestSideMovie is the cure for what ails you. Congrats on the #GoldenGlobe for Best Picture — Musical/Comedy,” the HFPA wrote in a now-deleted tweet that didn’t go unremarked on social media.

So who else won “big” Sunday?

The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion’s widely heralded Western and Yahoo Entertainment’s No. 1 movie of the year, ruled the film categories, picking up Best Picture, Best Director for Campion and Best Supporting Actor for Kodi Smit-McPhee. Belfast, Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical coming-of-age film, thought to be Dog’s biggest Oscar competitor, managed only one win, earning Best Screenplay honors for Branagh.

West Side Story fared strongly as well, winning, as mentioned, the top Musical or Comedy race as well as acting awards for Rachel Zegler (Best Actress, Musical or Comedy) and Ariana DeBose (Best Supporting Actress).

Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) and Will Smith (King Richard) won for the lead acting drama categories, while Andrew Garfield was named Best Actor, Musical or Comedy for his work in Tick, Tick… Boom! Best Animated Feature went to Disney’s Encanto and Best Non-English Language Film went to Japan’s Drive My Car.

HBO’s Succession was the big winner on the TV side, earning Best Television Series, Drama, Best Actor, Drama for Jeremy Strong and Best Supporting Actress for Sarah Snook. HBO also won Best Television Series, Comedy for Hacks, with star Jean Smart awarded Best Actress, Comedy. Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis was named Best Actor, Comedy. And making history was Pose's Mj Rodriguez, who became the first trans actress to win a Globe, scoring for Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama.

(See the full list of winners below).

In between winner announcements, the HFPA honored itself — or at least its admirable humanitarian efforts, calling attention to their charitable work with organizations like Las Fotos, St. Elmo Village, Get Lit and Streetlights. The group’s non-profit support landed its only celebrity appearance of the night, a taped message from Jamie Lee Curtis applauding their philanthropic work. “I’m proud to be associated with them in this venture,” Curtis said.

The Golden Globes’ role as a precursor to the Oscars has always been debated. On one hand, fewer than 100 HFPA journalists traditionally vote for winners as opposed to the thousands who make up the Academy. But because of the widely viewed telecast, Globes winners could theoretically gain momentum through the long slog of the awards season. But with no show, it seems likely that this year’s Globes honorees won't get any boost in the Oscar derby.

Another question on the mind of industry observers is whether this year’s winners will acknowledge their Globes wins — or be advised by their PR teams to stay silent. And will the winners even accept their Globes? At the height of the backlash against the HFPA, Tom Cruise returned the three statues he has collected, but no other major stars followed suit, at least publicly.

And then there’s the ultimate question following Sunday’s bizarro Globes: Can the event recover its luster?

The HFPA has taken various actions to respond the backlash its faced in Hollywood, adding a chief diversity officer, overhauling its board, adding 21 new members (including six Black journalists after previously having zero), working the NAACP and updating its code of conduct.

We’ll see in roughly one year. In the meantime we’d like to talk to their social media manager.

Best Motion Picture — Drama
The Power of the Dog (WINNER)

King Richard

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (WINNER)
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama
Will Smith, King Richard (WINNER)
Mahershala Ali, Swan Song
Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy
West Side Story (WINNER)

Don’t Look Up
Licorice Pizza
Tick, Tick … Boom!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy
Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (WINNER)
Marion Cotillard, Annette
Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up
Emma Stone, Cruella

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy
Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick … Boom! (WINNER)
Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up
Peter Dinklage, Cyrano
Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
Anthony Ramos, In the Heights

Best Motion Picture — Animated
Encanto (WINNER)
My Sunny Maad
Raya and the Last Dragon

Best Motion Picture — Non-English Language (Formerly Foreign Language)
Drive My Car (Japan) (WINNER)
Compartment No. 6
(Finland / Russia / Germany)
The Hand of God (Italy)
A Hero (France / Iran)
Parallel Mothers (Spain)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (WINNER)
Caitriona Balfe, Belfast
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
Ruth Negga, Passing

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (WINNER)
Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar
Jamie Dornan, Belfast
Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Troy Kotsur, CODA

Best Director — Motion Picture
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (WINNER)
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (WINNER)
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up
Aaron Sorkin, Being the Ricardos

Best Original Score — Motion Picture
Hans Zimmer, Dune (WINNER)
Alexandre Desplat, The French Dispatch
Germaine Franco, Encanto
Jonny Greenwood, The Power of the Dog
Alberto Iglesias, Parallel Mothers

Best Original Song — Motion Picture
“No Time to Die” — No Time to Die (WINNER)
Music by Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell; Lyrics by Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell
“Be Alive” — King Richard
Music by Dixson, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter; Lyrics by: Dixson, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
“Dos Oruguitas” — Encanto
Music by Lin-Manuel Miranda; Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down to Joy” — Belfast
Music by Van Morrison; Lyrics by Van Morrison
“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” — Respect
Music by Carole King, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Hartman; Lyrics by Carole King, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Hartman

Best Television Series Drama
Succession (WINNER)

The Morning Show
Squid Game

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Pose (WINNER)
Uzo Aduba, In Treatment
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Christine Baranski, The Good Fight
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama
Jeremy Strong, Succession (WINNER)
Brian Cox, Succession
Lee Jung-jae, Squid Game
Billy Porter, Pose
Omar Sy, Lupin

Best Television SeriesMusical or Comedy
Hacks (WINNER)
The Great

Only Murders in the Building
Reservation Dogs
Ted Lasso

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy
Jean Smart, Hacks (WINNER)
Hannah Einbinder, Hacks
Elle Fanning, The Great
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso (WINNER)
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Nicholas Hoult, The Great
Steve Martin, Only Murders in the Building
Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building

Best Television Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
The Underground Railroad (WINNER)

Impeachment: American Crime Story
Mare of Easttown

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown (WINNER)
Jessica Chastain, Scenes From a Marriage
Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha
Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision
Margaret Qualley, Maid

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Michael Keaton, Dopesick (WINNER)
Paul Bettany, WandaVision
Oscar Isaac, Scenes From a Marriage
Ewan McGregor, Halston
Tahar Rahmi, The Serpent

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Sarah Snook, Succession (WINNER)
Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus
Kaitlyn Dever, Dopesick
Andie MacDowell, Maid
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

O Yeong-su, Squid Game (WINNER)
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show
Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso