Golden Globes amends eligibility rules due to coronavirus

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The Golden Globes will accept movie submissions without a theatrical release for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Thursday.

The press association, which puts on the annual award show, said films that are first released on television or a streaming service will be eligible for January’s Globes. Usually, the Globes mandate that a film play for a week in a Los Angeles theater or on pay-per-view, as well as have an official screening for its voting members.

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Jennifer Lopez arrives at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 5.

Jennifer Lopez arrives at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 5. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The press association said the eligibility change was temporary and would last from March 15 to April 30, “with this period subject to later review and extension.”

The Academy Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have yet to announce a similar move. The Oscars specify that a film must have a seven-day run in a commercial Los Angeles County theater with at least three screenings a day. That rule has for several years come under scrutiny because of the rise of streaming services that would sometimes prefer their films went straight to paying subscribers.

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This image released by NBC shows host Ricky Gervais speaking at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 5.

This image released by NBC shows host Ricky Gervais speaking at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 5. (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)

The film academy last week said it was “evaluating all aspects of this uncertain landscape.”

With most movie theaters closed nationwide — including all of those in Los Angeles — numerous films are forgoing a theatrical release and going straight to streaming or on-demand. On Wednesday, a film widely expected to contend for best documentary awards later this year — “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution,” which won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival — premiered on Netflix after canceling its planned release in select theaters.

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The 78th Golden Globes are to be hosted next year by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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