The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been under intense fire in recent months for the lack of diversity among its members and the murky practices in its relations with studios. The HFPA is best known as the voting body for the Golden Globe Awards and organizers of the annual awards ceremony and broadcast. A blockbuster expose published by the L.A. Times on February 21st revealed that the 86-member body included exactly zero Black members. It also highlighted widespread reports of members accepting gifts and paid travel from studios in an effort to influence awards voting.
The scandal has thrown the HFPA into full crisis mode and promoted deep internal discussions on reforming the organization and its practices. Last Thursday, 90% of the HFPA’s members voted to approve a plan to expand membership to include “more diversity voices”, among other reforms. HFPA President Ali Sar wrote, “We truly believe that our plan will drive meaningful reform and inclusion within our Association and in a way that the entire industry can be proud of.” Many from within the industry remain unconvinced, with public statements issued by a wide range of influencers questioning the extent of the reforms. These statements include a formal letter by Netflix’s Ted Sarandos announcing that Netflix would take a step back from working with the HFPA on the Golden Globes, and similar positions taken in public statements by actors Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo, Time’s Up president Tina Tchen and numerous executives from Hollywood’s leading Public Relations firms.
Scarlett Johansson Speaks Out Against ‘Sexist’ HFPA (Vulture)