The Hollywood Foreign Press has lost its lawsuit against Dick Clark Productions. The HFPA–paid over $6 million a year to license its name by NBC–had contended that Dick Clark had no right to negotiate with NBC without them. Today senior US District Judge A. Howard Matz ruled that he disagreed with them. The ruling follows. This is a blow to the HFPA, a greedy group that has suffered numerous scandals over the years. The ruling means The Golden Globes are now in the backseat. Dick Clark Productions can produce the show through 2018, and continue to make deals with NBC as long as the network wants the show. The HFPA will have to accept their deals.
In the end, it was just a story of greed. The HFPA consists of about 80 people, many of whom have no credentials and don’t see all the movies every year. In past decades, they were broadcast on cable, then moved to CBS. CBS kicked them off the air during a scandal involving “actress” Pia Zadora, and NBC picked them up. I’ve written over the years about the group’s many crazy stunts, their domineering attitude, and the questionable credits of certain of their members. In the meantime, they’ve used the annual fee they receive from NBC to bankroll their arrogance. The movies they’re supposed to see, and the choices they make, are no different in the end than dozens of other critics’ groups. There’s nothing special about the HFPA. But they’ve managed to turn it into a tax free business.
Now this smug little group is no longer in the drivers’ seat. It’s interesting, too, because their judgment stems from an agreement made by an ex-member, Mirjana Blaricom. She was the head of the HFPA until the current gang forced her out in the mid 90s. She then started the Satellite Awards. It must be a sweet victory for her to see her old friends hung on their petard–and by her design. Bravo.