In a surprising turn of events, comedian Chris Rock, along with Ali Wong and the hosts of the popular podcast SmartLess, Will Arnett, Sean Hayes, and Jason Bateman, have declined the opportunity to host the 2024 Golden Globe Awards, scheduled for January 7. The announcement comes as the institution has yet to reveal who will take on the hosting responsibilities.
Chris Rock’s decision follows his tumultuous experience hosting the 2022 Oscars, where an on-stage incident with Will Smith garnered widespread attention. The confrontation occurred after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, referencing the film “G.I. Jane 2.” Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, was offended, prompting Smith to physically confront Rock on stage.
Ali Wong, also approached to host the Golden Globes, turned down the gig, as did the hosts of the SmartLess podcast. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who have previously co-hosted the event, are unlikely to return, with a source close to them stating, “They would never do it (again). They’re done.”
The reluctance to host major awards shows seems to be a growing trend in the industry. A celebrity publicist noted, “It’s a thankless job. It’s not worth it. There are a lot of politics. It’s not easy and it’s not fun anymore.”
The 81st Golden Globe Awards, set to be the first major broadcast of the awards season, will have a new home on CBS. Behind the scenes, the event has faced challenges, including a lack of diversity within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which votes on the awards. Following a Los Angeles Times report in 2021 exposing the absence of black members in the HFPA, stars and studios boycotted the Globes, leading to NBC refusing to air the ceremony in 2022.
After reforms and the addition of journalists of color, the Globes returned in 2023 under a one-year probationary agreement with NBC, which opted not to renew. In June, billionaire Todd Boehly received approval to dissolve the HFPA and rebrand the Golden Globes as a for-profit organization. CBS will air the ceremony on January 7, streaming on Paramount+.
The group responsible for nominating and voting on the awards now comprises over 300 people worldwide, reflecting a more diverse composition. The decline of high-profile comedians to host the Golden Globes adds another layer of uncertainty to the awards ceremony’s future.