'The Martian' Criticism Prompted Golden Globes to Change Comedy Definition

By Victoria Guerra | Apr 20, 2016 04:58 PM EDT
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Earlier this year, Ridley Scott's acclaimed sci-fi movie, The Martian, earned two major Golden Globe Awards, but many criticized the awards show for categorizing the film, which revolves around Matt Damon surviving on the Red Planet for months, as a comedy. After mockery and criticism from some of Hollywood's biggest names, the Hollywood Foreign Press has changed its definition of comedy!

Last Monday, the HFPA released a new 11-page revamp of the rules to have films and shows nominated for the Golden Globes, and they included a new addendum regarding categorization of comedies -- more specifically, what exactly makes a movie eligible as a comedy.

"Motion pictures shall be entered in the category that best matches the overall tone and content of the motion picture. Thus, for example, dramas with comedic overtones should be entered as dramas," read the new guidelines.

The Hollywood Foreign Press received a lot of criticism for nominating The Martian in the category of Best Comedy, which it ended up winning, along with Damon snagging the award for Best Actor in a Comedy.

The Martian wasn't first time this happened, however: just a couple of years before that, Alexander Payne's Nebraska, which could at most be categorized as a dramedy (or a dramatic movie with comedic undertones) was also categorized as a straight-out comedy at the awards show. Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, arguably more comedic (though darker in tone), was in the same category that year, earning Leonardo DiCaprio a Golden Globe.

Months back, Judd Apatow, who directed the Amy Schumer-starring romantic comedy Trainwreck, criticized the growing trend of dramas snagging comedy awards. Similarly, during this year's Golden Globes broadcast, host Ricky Gervais made jokes about the movie getting into the category, including saying that, while it was funnier than Pixels, so was Schindler's List.

There's also a viral clip of The Martian being presented as a comedy in a fan-made trailer.

The next Golden Globe Awards ceremony will be on January 8, 2017.


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