The Golden Globes Just Changed Their Eligibility Rules Because of the Coronavirus

Every year, the Golden Globes celebrate the best in TV and films with a star-studded award show. But now, as most of Hollywood is halting productions and postponing releases due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is adjusting its rules. For this year’s Golden Globe awards, they’re changing eligibility requirements to accommodate films impacted by the fallout of COVID-19. 

Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A number of films were forced to switch up their releases 

From the highly anticipated Marvel movie, Black Widow to Disney’s live-action version of Mulan, 2020 was supposed to be a huge year for films. But with the rapid spread of the coronavirus, masses are being advised to stay home. And along with most major businesses, movie theaters are also temporarily closing doors.

The fallout is forcing studios to push their movie releases to future dates when the public can safely go to theaters and watch. Some studios are releasing their films digitally so that audiences can purchase and stream them from home. 

The Golden Globes regular eligibility requirements

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been honoring films since 1944. Their 93 members nominate and vote for the best movies, TV shows, actors, writers, and directors of the previous calendar year.

In past years, for movies to be eligible, they needed to be released before Dec. 31 and run for at least seven days in the Greater Los Angeles area. They also needed to be released in movie theaters, on pay-per-view, or by digital delivery. 

Studios were also required to invite HFPA members to an official screening of their film. These screenings were required to take place at third-party facilities (like theaters or screening rooms) before the movie’s release or up to one week after.

How the Golden Globes are changing their rules

With all the adjustments studios are being forced to make, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is changing it’s eligibility rules to accommodate. According to a recent HFPA press release, films that are first released on a streaming platform or TV will be eligible for January’s Golden Globes.

“Motion pictures that had a bona fide theatrical release planned to begin in Los Angeles during the period from March 15 to April 30, 2020 (this period is subject to later review and extension) may instead be released first on a television format (e.g. subscription streaming service, subscription cable channel, broadcast television, etc.) and will still be eligible for the Golden Globe motion picture awards,” the statement reads.

Golden Globe Awards
77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominations Stage | Tommaso Boddi/WireImage/Getty Images

The HFPA is also relaxing screening rules, and allowing members to watch eligible films from their homes. “In light of the closure of all theatres and screening rooms in Los Angeles, the requirement that a motion picture release must be screened for HFPA members in a theatre or screening room is temporarily suspended,” the HFPA press release states. “Distributors must provide all HFPA members with a screening link or a DVD copy of the motion picture so that members may view it at home.” 

According to the press release, these new eligibility requirements are only in effect “from March 15 until April 30, 2020,” but the time frame is “subject to later review and extension.”