The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced the date of next year’s Golden Globe Awards, on January 8, 2017. But more interestingly, however, the HFPA also announced a couple of rule changes for the next awards, and one in particular appears to stem from backlash aimed at this year’s winner for Best Comedy or Musical. Many cried foul when The Martian was submitted—and accepted—as a nominee for the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category, with Judd Apatow in particular rather miffed that genuine comedies like Trainwreck and Spy were having to compete with Ridley Scott’s comedic drama.
Well now, per new HFPA guidelines (via EW), “dramas with comedic overtones should be entered as dramas,” which essentially means, “Hey The Martian, don’t come around here no more.” The irony here, however, is that the HFPA had the power to reject The Martian all along, and they didn’t. They chose to allow The Martian to compete as a Comedy/Musical, so it’s not like a rule change was needed to prevent this from happening again. But now it appears they’re making a statement that they’re trying to keep the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy more pure from a submissions standpoint.
This kind of aping of the category isn’t exactly a new notion, and I’m not entirely sure why The Martian was the film to finally encourage this change, aside from Apatow’s vocalization of his disapproval. David O. Russell’s dramedy American Hustle won the award in 2013 and Joy was also nominated this year, so “dramas with comedic undertones” have been ruling the category for years. It’s a shame that genuine comedies like Spy and Trainwreck don’t get more awards traction, so with this new rule change here’s hoping there’s finally a place for films such as these to be recognized. Because God knows the Oscars aren’t gonna do it.