History of the Golden Globe Awards & Some of its Controversies

Golden Globes are seen during the 79th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 09, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Each year fans across the world tune in to the Golden Globe Awards to see if their favorite actors, films, and television shows will be rewarded. You can watch the 81st annual ceremony tomorrow, January 7, 2024, at 8:00 PM EST on CBS with host Jo Koy. If you enjoy watching each year, you might be interested to learn about its history, including its start in 1944 and its many controversies. Before there was today’s Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), there was the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association which chose the winners.

The very first award ceremony took place in January 1944 and awards were scrolls. There was an informal ceremony at 20th Century Fox. During its inception, there were only six categories and the winners were as follows: Best Picture went to The Song of Bernadette, Best Actor in a Leading Role went to Paul Lukas, Best Actress in a Leading Role went to Jennifer Jones, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role went to Akim Tamiroff, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role went to Katina Paxinou, and Best Director went to Henry King.

Actress Marilyn Monroe attends the Golden Globe Awards where she won the "Henrietta" award at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 5, 1962 in Los Angeles, California

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The following year, the scrolls were replaced by the gold awards, which were meant to represent the world with a globe on a pedestal. The first gala took place in 1945 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Over the years, the categories changed, most notably in 1951 when Best Film, Actor, and Actress nominees were divided into drama and musical or comedy genres. A year later the Cecil B. deMille Award was created to recognize “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field,” given first to deMille of course.

Cecil B. DeMille with Corinne Calvert attends the Golden Globes awards party in Los Angeles, California.

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Over the years, awards have been created and discontinued including the Newcomer Award and World Film Favorite. By 1957, television shows were able to receive awards, not just movies and some of the first to be rewarded were Cheyenne and the Mickey Mouse Club. Today, there are 27 categories split almost evenly to award the best television shows and movies of the past year. While the awards are often fun to watch and a big deal for its stars, it has had some controversial moments.

(Original Caption) Actress Julie Andrews holds her Golden Globe Award of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after being named the world's favorite film actress for the second consecutive year. Paul Newman was named the world's most popular actor.

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In 1958, former HFPA president Henry Gris resigned after claiming that some awards were given due to favors. In 1968, the FCC banned a broadcast of the Golden Globes after claiming that the show misled the public on how the winners were determined, inciting more changes. In recent years, the HFPA has been criticized and accused of anti-Asian racism after nominating several films but excluding them from Best Motion Picture categories. Not only that, but there were more racism claims that the HFPA had no Black members.

What do you think about the Golden Globes? Do you enjoy watching them or think they’re too controversial or boring?

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