NBC Universal has joined the “zero tolerance for the untrustworthy HFPA” cabal by announcing that it won’t air the 2022 Golden Globes awards. They’ve joined fellow renouncers Tom Cruise, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Netflix and Amazon…they’ve all voiced their displeasure with the HFPA’s not-good-enough reforms.

The complaint is that the HFPA doesn’t really seem to mean it and/or hasn’t gone far enough in cleaning up their act. Giving their 2021 Best Director award to Chloe Zhao and their Best Actor and Best Actress awards to Chadwick Boseman and Andra Day were insincere gestures, the thinking seems to be. At this point the specifics don’t seem to matter. One way or another the HFPA seems to be more or less fucked. At least for now.

Nobody loved the HFPA dilletantes before — they were “tolerated” in a shoulder-shrugging, eye-rolling sense of that term, and now distributors and talent are saying “okay, fuck these guys…even with the announced reforms they aren’t woke enough, not by 2021 standards, and now, trust us, they’re about to understand the cost of their terrible folly.”

So if the Golden Globes are wiped out who takes their place as an Academy-reflecting body that hands out pre-Oscar awards and gets the buzz rolling? The Critics Choice Awards, right? I’ll bet those guys are gloating as we speak.

Not to defend the blithe, lackadaiscal HFPA, but we’re living through punitive, tumultuous times — a climate of institutional fear and intimidation — “think right, run your organization right and say the right things or your ass is grass, pal.”

Is the HFPA a secret stealth branch of former Ku Klux Klan members or something? Some of the HFPA-ers are known to be less than ardent in their support of wokester reforms, but mainly they’re just a group of gravy-train hustlers and opportunists. Nobody in the Hollywood promo machine had any serious problems with them before. Everyone played along. But now, out of the blue, Hollywood’s “woke” Twitter mob has given them the heave-ho. It’s an avalanche effect.

Nobody wants to be on the “wrong” side of this — if you’re not with the mob you’re suspected of being in league with suspected racists, or certainly people who don’t “get it.” You have to condemn without ambiguity these days. You have to come down hard. This is roughly analogous to what everyone did to stay safe in early ’50s Hollywood — they had to distance themselves from the accused, name names and declare loyalty to the established order.

Do Joe and Jane Popcorn care if the HFPA reforms are sweeping enough? Will they care if and when the GG awards don’t happen early next year?

NBCUniversal statement: “We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”

Sasha Stone on Awards Daily: “There is so much shock, shock, SHOCK that gambling is going on here, right? The climate of fear in Hollywood, journalism and social media means anyone who wants to stay employed and maintain their platforms must go along with it and more. THey need to name names. Point fingers. Destroy careers to save themselves.

Scarlett Johansson has said that the HFPA “was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition.” But how many stars, studios, publicists also legitimized the likes of Weinstein? How can they fix the Weinstein problem?

“The answer: they can’t. They can take back the awards. Perhaps they can retroactively take Shakespeare in Love’s Best Picture Oscar away and give it to Saving Private Ryan at long last. Maybe they can finally dump The Reader from the Best Picture lineup and put The Dark Knight in instead. Hey, maybe they can take back The King’s Speech’s four Oscars and hand the Oscar instead to The Social Network, its rightful owner. Or how about dumping The Artist’s wins, handing them over to Hugo? Let’s also take back Meryl Streep’s Oscar for The Iron Lady and give it to Viola Davis for The Help. Maybe we can also take back Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar and give it to, oh, I don’t know, Cate Blanchett? Hey, we can swap out the Best Picture win for Chicago and hand it to The Pianist — oh wait, never mind, can’t do that.

“Speaking of Woody Allen, does this plea from Johansson get her off the hook for defending working with Allen? Or will she finally give her mea culpa on that one at long last? Hey, might as well get ahead of it now, right?”