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Who decides who wins the Golden Globes?

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
January 6, 2017
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One of the most glamorous evenings of the year is taking place on Sunday - the 74th Golden Globes! The ceremony honours excellence in film and television, but who gets to decide who wins those coveted trophies?

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association founded the Golden Globe Awards, and its members vote for the winners. The association was originally established in 1943 and is a small group of around 90 writers - in comparison, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which is the voting body for the Oscars, has over 7,000 members. Criteria to become part of the association includes being based in Southern California and paying around £406 ($500) in initiation fees.

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The awards were established in 1943

Members also must have written at least four articles for a foreign publication before applying, meaning that both freelancers and full time writers can qualify. Naturally most of the HFPA is therefore mostly made up of journalists and film critics. However, there have been some surprises, including Noel Souza, who planed Gandhi on Star Trek: Voyager, and bodybuilder Alexander Nevsky. 

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The voting members, who hail from 55 countries worldwide, decide on the winners by an online voting system, giving them the options to choose from five nominees in 25 categories. The results are then sent to an accountancy firm to count and verify the votes.

The voting members choose from five nominees in 25 categories

The voting system has not been without its share of criticism, with controversies including The Tourist being nominated for Best Musical/Comedy despite being a spy thriller, and actress Pia Zadora being awarded New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture for her performance in Butterfly before it was revealed that her husband had taken voting members to his casino and hosted a lunch for them along with a showing of the film. 

Golden Globes 2017: Everything you need to know

Actor Gary Oldman is among those particularly critical of the award ceremony, and has spoken about his distrust of the HFPA. Speaking to Playboy magazine, he said: "It’s a meaningless event… There’s nothing going on at all… Everybody’s getting drunk, and everybody’s sucking up to everybody… Just say we’re not going to play this silly game with you anymore. The Oscars are different."

HELLO! Online will be providing live coverage of all the winners and red carpet news throughout the night. Follow @hellomag on Twitter for the latest news.

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