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Oscars Vs Golden Globes: What’s The Difference Between The Awards Shows?

Golden Globes; Oscars

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Image Credit: Jim Ruymen/UPI/Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Awards season is the best time of year for film and television lovers. They get to see A-list Hollywood stars attend numerous ceremonies to celebrate on-screen projects that came out during the year. From the celebs on the dazzling red carpets, to the fans throwing viewing parties at home, plus the memorable winner speeches, and the epic after-parties, awards shows are exciting for just about everyone.

The Golden Globe Awards and The Academy Awards, better known as The Oscars, are two of the biggest awards shows every year. There are some notable differences between the two, including the actual trophies the winners take home. The Golden Globe trophy is a gold handheld statue with, fittingly enough, a globe at the top, while the Oscar statuette features a stylized figure of a knight holding a crusader’s sword. Find out more about the differences between the Oscars and the Golden Globes below.

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt at the Golden Globes (Photo: Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock)


Both the Oscars and the Golden Globes have been around for a long time. The inaugural Academy Awards took place on May 16, 1929 at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in L.A. The ceremony honored the best in film over the two years prior across 12 categories. It lasted only 15 minutes and was the only Oscars not to be broadcast on radio or television. Since then, the Oscars have taken place every year and typically have a host. The ceremony airs on either NBC or ABC.

The Golden Globes kicked off on January 20, 1944 at the 20th Century Fox studios in Los Angeles, California. It honored the best in 1943 filmmaking. Television did not become part of the Golden Globes until 1957. There were only six categories for the 1st Golden Globe Awards. NBC typically airs the ceremony.

When Each Is Held

The Golden Globes usually take place at the starts of awards season in January. There’s been a few occasions when the ceremony is in February. This happened in February 2021 due to delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 Golden Globes took place on January 10. The Oscars, meanwhile, air at the end of awards season, which could be anytime from late February to early April. The 2021 Oscars were delayed by COVID until April 25. The 2023 Oscars are being held March 12. Since the Golden Globes take place months before the Oscars, the former event typically influences what happens at the latter ceremony. In others words, we often see the Golden Globe nominees and winners be repeated at the Oscars. There’s obviously exceptions when this happens, but it tends to occur pretty frequently.

Oscars (Photo: Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

Who Votes

Different bodies of voters decide the nominees and winners of each ceremony. The Golden Globes are bestowed by the 105 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a nonprofit organization of international journalists from 55 countries. The Oscars are decided by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which is made up of around 9,900 people as of 2021. The Academy is an international organization and has an invite-only membership. There’s been five members who have been expelled from The Academy: Carmine Caridi, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski, and Adam Kimmel. There are 17 branches of The Academy, including actors, cinematographers, directors, film editors, producers, costume designers, and more.

The Categories

The Golden Globe Awards have grown to 25 categories. 14 are for movies, while 11 are for television. The categories are divided between Drama and Musical/Comedy for both movies and TV. They celebrate lead acting and supporting acting performances, as well as individual films and television shows. For film, additional categories include Best Original Song, Best Original Score, Best Animated Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Non-English Language Film.

The Oscars, which only deals with film, has 24 categories. Aside from the usual Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and more of the regular categories, the Oscars also draws attention to more specific film awards. For example, The Academy celebrates Best Makeup, Best Original Story, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, and more.

The Ceremonies

The Oscars definitely edge out the Golden Globes for the bigger Hollywood ceremony. After all, winning an Oscar is a much higher recognition for talent. It’s part of securing an EGOT, which Jennifer Hudson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend, Rita Moreno, and more have done. The Oscars are the more prestigious and fancier event, dress code and all. Ratings are also typically higher for the Oscars. The 2022 Academy Awards, which involved Will Smith infamously slapping Chris Rock drew 16.6 million viewers, while the 2023 Golden Globes racked up 6.3 million viewers, according to CNN. What’s consistent for both ceremonies is the glitzy red carpets, the star-studded attendees, the winner speeches, and, at times, the memorable hosts.

As the Oscars continue on, the Golden Globes have become engulfed in controversy. The 2022 Golden Globes didn’t air on television after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was slammed for a lack of diversity and unethical behavior. It was revealed that the HFPA didn’t have any Black members. HFPA President Helen Hoehne promised that the organization is working “tirelessly” to do better. The 2023 Golden Globes
returned to television after the HFPA diversified its membership.

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