Essays · Movies

Ahead of The Golden Globes, ‘The Greatest Showman’ Comes Under Fire

The P.T. Barnum biopic isn’t winning over friends in the animal rights community.
Greatest Showman
By  · Published on January 5th, 2018

The P.T. Barnum biopic isn’t winning over friends in the animal rights community.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is an interesting voting body. They like to pick television shows and films that fit within their neat frame of enjoyment. There has been plenty of issues brought up with their selections in the past and the categories they fit films into. The Greatest Showman fits neatly into that Best Comedy/Musical section. It is exactly the type of movie that the Golden Globes would choose to highlight with their annual awards. Well, there is a subset of people that want to make sure The Greatest Showman doesn’t take home any awards.

There is a Care2 petition right now that is asking for signatures against The Greatest Showman. Their mission is to let the HFPA know that they don’t think P.T. Barnum should be celebrated for anything. Their claim is that the movie honors a man who enabled over 100 years of animal cruelty. He was apparently not only cruel to the animals, but to many of his employees as well. Let’s just say P.T. Barnum wasn’t the glowing and warm person Hugh Jackman and The Greatest Showman would like you to believe he is. Currently, the petition has over 8,000 signatures.

The Greatest Showman is definitely the weakest film of those nominated for Best Musical/Comedy. If Lady Bird or Get Out don’t take the award then there might be something more wrong with the Golden Globes than we originally imagined. They might’ve had an argument to win Best Original Song, but with Coco‘s ‘Remember Me’ in the competition, that is a lock as well. This petition is likely to succeed just as the basis that the film really didn’t have much of a chance in the first place. For fun, let’s just imagine that the Golden Globes like to award the most recognizable actor. Well, in that case, Hugh Jackman could win against his field, but James Franco or Daniel Kaluuya should take home the award.

The HFPA will continue to nominate musicals regardless of their quality since it fits into their defined film subgroup perfectly. Until they change how they define the categories of the films, expect musicals to sneak in regardless of their inherent qualities. The Greatest Showman is just lucky to be there, but even then that is already a win for the financers of the film. Unfortunately for protesters, they are only bringing more attention to the film.

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