2021 Golden Globes Suffer a 64% Ratings Plunge amid HFPA Controversy and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The 2021 Golden Globes did not fare well in the ratings.

Sunday night's ceremony garnered 6.9 million viewers, down 64% from the prior year's show, according to a report from the Associated Press, that cited Nielsen Holdings.

Last year's ceremony, which took place ahead of lockdowns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, reached 18.4 million viewers, the outlet added.

The last time the Golden Globes had such a low viewing audience was back in 2008 during the writer's strike. Instead of the typical star-studded event, a televised press conference announcing the winners took place, drawing in 6 million viewers, the AP reported.

Sunday night's awards were also not the most-watched show on Sunday, The Hollywood Reporter added, noting that 60 Minutes and The Equalizer each had more viewers.

During Sunday night's event, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-hosted from different coasts. Poehler, 49, hosted from the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles — where the awards show typically films — and Fey, 50, from New York City's Rainbow Room.

The pair were joined by an array of guests during the broadcast, like Kenan Thompson and Maya Rudolph, as well as a group of presenters, including Tiffany Haddish, Gal Gadot and Ben Stiller.

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Select stars also appeared virtually during the show to present awards as well, such as Sandra Oh and Colin Farrell. Meanwhile, Spike Lee's children, Satchel and Jackson, served as the Golden Globes' ambassadors for 2021. 

Big winners of the night included director Chloé Zhao's Nomadland and Amazon's Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, while television series like The Crown and The Queen's Gambit also did well.

The 2021 Golden Globes were also shrouded in controversy after the Los Angeles Times published a report about the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the small group of 87 international journalists that determine the nominees and winners of the Golden Globes each year.

Published a week before Sunday's 78th annual ceremony, the report claimed that the HFPA has several members of color, but no Black members. For many years, the group has allegedly limited its membership due to concerns over competition, the report also stated.

In response to the lack of Black members, an HFPA representative told the LA Times that the group is aware of the issue and is "committed to addressing" it.

During the ceremony, the HFPA took a moment to address the recent controversy when three members from the group appeared onstage and shared a statement, promising to fix the lack of representation.

Earlier in the show, cohosts Fey and Poehler had also skewered the HFPA in the show's opening monologue.

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