When Golden Globes and Stars Align: The Awards Show as a Platform for Cultural Criticism

  • Helle Kannik HaastrupEmail author


Using the 2018 Golden Globe Awards show as a case study, this chapter analyzes how a movie awards show can communicate cultural criticism. Awards shows are located in the “middle-zone of cultural evaluation” (English 2005), because they represent neither traditional cultural criticism nor the producers’ promotion and PR. This chapter aims to show that this Golden Globe Awards provided an alternative kind of cultural criticism, communicated via a live media event. Based on a framework combining theories of cultural criticism and analyses of live media events and studies of cultural awards and celebrity culture, the chapter demonstrates how the Golden Globe ceremony communicated cultural evaluation based on specific aesthetic criteria, through selection-as-evaluation, and by providing a cultural context for the artwork (Carroll 2009). The 2018 Golden Globe Awards show was colored by the Time’s Up activist action, giving the ceremony a political context and a focus on gender equality. Cultural criticism was expressed both in individual speeches and through the selection of the award-winning films and television series. The analysis of the 2018 Golden Globe Awards show thus contributes to our understanding of how different voices and genres, can produce an alternative kind of cultural criticism.


Movie awards show Cultural criticism Time’s Up Golden Globe Awards Celebrity culture Live media event 


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© The Author(s) 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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