It’s amazing that people continue to give the Golden Globe Awards recognition as a legitimate awards show. Is it only me that sees the “emperor with no clothes on?”
The latest scandal involves Philip Berk, the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. A former publicist for the organization filed a lawsuit on charges of personal corruption and “despicable conduct.”
Among the charges filed by HFCA former publicist Michael Russell, the suit alleges that Berk has sought kickbacks from sponsors, even calling NBC, which airs the Globes telecast this weekend, to demand he be given a commission for a $2 million ad buy by Chrysler.
The lawsuit further alleges that Berk sought to cut Russell out of a deal in which Chrysler acted as a charitable sponsor, and that Berk has repeatedly rebuffed Russell’s attempts to encourage the group to clean up corrupt practices.
The HFPA and Berk denied the allegations and called the lawsuit, “…completely without merit. This is no more than the case of a disgruntled former consulting firm, whose contract was not renewed, attempting to take advantage once again of the Globe’s international stage for their own gain.”
NBC had no comment on the lawsuit.
Now this is the same organization that encouraged payment for awards. In 1981, Pia Zadora won a Golden Globe in the category “Newcomer-of-the-Year” for her performance in the film, “Butterfly”. There were accusations that the Foreign Press Association members had been bought off.
Pia’s husband at the time, multimillionaire Meshulam Riklis, flew voting members to his casino, the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, which gave the appearance that they voted for Zadora to repay this. Riklis also invited voting members to his house for a lavish lunch and a showing of the film. He also spent a great deal on advertising.
The film had not been released at the time of the awards, which should have made her ineligible for one.
An expose on the HFPA was done in 2003, when documentary called, “The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret”. In addition to covering the Pia Zadora fiasco, it also talks about the organization in general, in that many of it’s members are actually individuals who have reputations more as star-struck fans and moochers than serious reporters.
This latest Golden Globes scandal is nothing new. The event is just another reason for actors and actresses to have a fashion show.
You’re better off watching paint dry at home!