I truly had to do a deep dive into the bowels of Wikipedia to figure out what this awards show actually is. Originally, the Astra Awards were “the annual awards for the Australian subscription television industry.” This is not that! The Wiki for the current Astra Awards explains that “this year, several months after the Hollywood Critics Association rebranded itself as the Hollywood Creative Alliance (HCA), the organization has given its signature awards shows a new name: The Astra Awards. The decision to rename the awards ceremonies was put to a vote by the HCA’s advisory committee on November 17, 2023.”
So, if you go over to the HCA’s Wiki, it reminds you that “the Hollywood Creative Alliance (HCA) is a film critic organization in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 2016 as the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society and renamed in 2019 to Hollywood Critics Association. In 2023, the organization changed its name a second time, and rebranded its awards as the Astra Awards.” All that re-branding and re-naming happened because there was a HUGE amount of scandal and dramz in the previous group. Most notably:
On January 9, 2023, the Los Angeles Times ranked the film awards 15th out of 15 events, highlighting its “improbable continued existence” and the co-founder, Scott Menzel, being “obsessed” with Kristen Stewart, to whom he presented an award. On June 2, 2023, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that HCA President Nikki Fowler had resigned from the organization citing a “hostile, biased” work environment. On June 14, 2023, The Wrap announced that the Hollywood Critics Association was going to “restructure” amid accusations of racial bias. The announcement came after Fowler went public with accusations against the executive team and board, including co-founder, Scott Menzel, who remains at the head of the organization.
All of this explains why SEVERAL of the big winners at this event did not attend, I suspect! (I assume the winners are notified beforehand for this one.) Perhaps the dog was invited because people like to see a cute dog? WHO CAN SAY.