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Chris Rock and other top comedic talent decline offers to host the Golden Globes

Chris Rock on Dec. 8 in New York City.Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Barbie and Ken will likely grace the stage at the Golden Globes next month, but the show’s organizers have had a hard time finding someone with the “Kenthusiasm” to host the event.

With Globe nominations being announced Monday morning, a search for the host is still underway, CNN has learned. Two-time Oscar host Chris Rock is among those to decline offers to host the January 7 ceremony, a source with knowledge of the conversations told CNN, as have at least four other A-list comedic actors.

A representative for Rock declined to comment.

Rock, who was also asked to host the previous Golden Globes, last attended a major award show in 2022, when he was famously slapped at the Oscars by Will Smith for telling a joke that referenced Jada Pinkett Smith’s battle with alopecia. Rock will likely be a nominee at the upcoming ceremony in the new category of best performance in stand-up comedy on television for his Netflix special, “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage.”

Others who’ve declined

Another potential nominee for her performance in the Netflix series “Beef,” Ali Wong, was also approached to host the Globes, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN. As first reported by Puck, Wong declined the gig, the source said.

Ali Wong, here in November, was approached to host the Golden Globes in January.Dia Dipasupil/WireImage/Getty Images

A representative for Wong declined to comment.

Will Arnett, Sean Hayes and Jason Bateman, who co-host the podcast “SmartLess,” turned down a joint offer to emcee the Globes, two sources aware of the deal told.

A representative for “SmartLess” declined to comment.

Had the trio said yes, it would have marked the first time the Globes had three hosts since Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Nielsen and Jane Seymour co-helmed the show in 1993. A majority of the annual boozy dinner party’s 81 ceremonies have actually gone without a host, but the Globes seem to draw more chatter when they have one… or two.

There’s little hope Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who co-hosted the Globes four times to critical acclaim, would return. The two have previously promised they’re done with the gig.

Apparently, they meant it.

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have co-hosted four Golden Globe ceremonies.Getty Images

“They would never do it (again),” a source close to Poehler and Fey told this week. “They’re done.”

A spokesperson for the Golden Globes declined to comment, but a source familiar with the search said there are “three very serious conversations” going on with potential hosts.

This year, the Globes moves to a new broadcast home at CBS. One possible outcome is, of course, that CBS casts one of its own stars in the role for three hours of free promotion. It’s an approach NBC took several times as the previous broadcast home of the Globes, casting network comedic talent like Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg as hosts of the event. At ABC, network star Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the Oscars in March for his fourth time.

Talent turning down the job to host a major awards show is not unusual and certainly is not unique to the Globes. For an up-and-coming comedian, the gig may be the opportunity of a lifetime, but for a seasoned veteran, with all of the preparation and immediate – often negative – feedback, the juice is not worth the squeeze.

“It’s a thankless job,” one celebrity publicist told.

“It’s not worth it,” another top publicist said of hosting award shows. “There are a lot of politics. It’s not easy and it’s not fun anymore.”

A Hollywood makeover

While a host for the weeks-away Globes remains in question, the Beverly Hilton ballroom could feature appearances by likely nominees Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Meryl Streep, Selena Gomez, Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Aniston and Quinta Brunson. The Golden Globes will serve as the kickoff to a jam-packed award season in which the entertainment industry aims to bring glitz, glamour and celebration back to Hollywood after double strikes shut down most productions for much of 2023.

The Golden Globes will move from NBC to CBS this year after reform of the organization behind the event.

The Golden Globes are also still working to overcome a scandal that surfaced in 2021, when the Los Angeles Times documented the lack of Black members within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presented the awards, and potential ethical transgressions related to the oversized influence of its then-roster of 87 international journalists.

group of publicists called upon the HFPA to implement “profound and lasting change” for its “pervasive practice of discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption.” They also advised their talent to boycott the event and NBC declined to air the broadcast in 2022.

The HFPA has since been disbanded and the Golden Globes has new ownership with Dick Clark Productions and Eldridge Industries acquiring the show. The changes have quieted calls of protest this time around, according to several Hollywood publicists who spoke with CNN and said their celebrity clients are excited to attend the Globes next month.

The fact remains, the ceremony this past January on NBC (hosted by Jerrod Carmichael) suffered the second-lowest ratings of all time with 6.3 million total viewers, a 26% drop from the previous Globes that were telecast. The event could probably use the help of a big name host to improve on that… if organizers can find one.

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