Golden Globes Sued By Its Former Publicists

Comedian Ricky Gervais will once again host the Golden Globes this Sunday.

Michael Russell, who was the lead publicist for the Golden Globes, Stephen Locascio, Cinepoint Productions, and the Michael Russell Group have filed a lawsuit against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for $2 million, The Hollywood Reporter writes. The lawsuit alleges that the publicists were fired after confronting the president of the HFPA to ask that the organization stop accepting “payola” in exchange for support for particular films.

Russell and Cinepoint had worked with the Golden Globes between 1993 and 2010. According to THR, they helped “the HFPA take the event from a small insider affair to a worldwide television event that allegedly reaps a $12 million-per-year license fee from NBC.”

The AP quotes a statement from the Golden Globes’ current publicist, Ken Sunshine, who dismisses the charges:

This is no more than the case of a disgruntled former consulting firm, whose contract was not renewed, attempting to take advantage once again of the Globe’s international stage for their own gain.

The Golden Globes will air this Sunday. To learn how to properly solicit for a nomination, watch the cast of the comedy Raising Hope here. Turn down the volume (NSFW).