I used to work in the Enterainment industry and helped plan and produce a few Golden Globe after parties for a movie studio. Most of the after parties took place at the Beverly Hilton, where the actual awards ceremony took place. It was common knowledge in the industry that the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press (who nominates and votes) were kinda of a joke and lacked the credibility of the Academy Awards or other award shows like the Director’s Guild Awards. Because the Hollywood Foreign Press was comprised of 87 Los Angeles based foreign “journalists” who were easy to bribe with celebrity access, gifts and luxury hotel rooms. If you wanted to win a nomination or award, you had to make sure the lead actors attended Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) luncheon held before voting took place. Because the HFPA were such starf*ckers. I don’t mean that in a sexual way, and trust me, no actor wanted to have lunch with, let alone sleep with any of these 87 disheveled elderly bores. But you have to play the game to win, so the talent would go to the lunch, take pics with the HFPA members, eat, schmooze and try to bail out early.
The HFPA is only 87 members, whereas, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has roughly 9900 members who work or worked in film industry and the Directors Guild Association (DGA) represents more than 18,600 directors and members of the directorial team. So it is much more prestigious to be nominated by and honored with an award, when the voters are your peers and have actual filmmaking experience.
Any award show with a red carpet is an opportunity for an actor to get publicly for themselves and their movie. Nominations and Awards often equal box office success and generate revenue not only for the studio, but also for the actor when they negotiate their next project. Fashion Designers compete to dress nominees and A list talent, because they know a red carpet photo will generate more free publicity than any advertisement could.
And because the celebrities don’t take the Golden Globes as seriously as other award shows, they can go and have fun. They can get drunk and catch up with their friends during the actual award show. At the Academy Awards, the show is always is more than 3 hours long, it takes place in an theater and there is no food until after the show at the Oscars Governors Ball. And then the after parties are at various locations all over Hollywood. The Golden Globes takes place in the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom, attendees get to eat dinner and drink champagne during the show, most of the studio after parties take place at various locations on the hotel grounds. So it makes it easy for attendees of the Golden Globes to bounce from one after party to the next after party, without having to wait and locate their car service. And, from my experience working the show and parties, it was a blast seeing drunk celebrities run into each other in the lobby, elevators and hallways dashing from party to party.
Without the lure of the red carpet or fun studio after party where they will run into their friends, there is no reason for an actor, studio exec, agent or publicist to attend the Golden Globes. They have better things to do, and there are so many other award shows, events and press obligations during award season to go to. I’m sure many people in the industry were happy to have that night off!