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Golden Globes’ Longtime PR Firm Sunshine Sachs Drops HFPA as Client

Veteran publicity firm had represented the embattled group since 2011

The Golden Globes’ longtime PR firm Sunshine Sachs has cut ties with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in the wake of ongoing controversy and upheaval at the organization, TheWrap has learned.

Sunshine Sachs informed the HFPA of the news earlier this week in a letter. Sunshine Sachs, which is led by Ken Sunshine and Shawn Sachs, had represented the HFPA since 2011.

“We have always believed and continue to believe in the ability of the HFPA to positively transform and hope that change inspires Hollywood as a whole,” the letter read. “We will always cheer for reform and commitment to diversity and look forward to seeing your continued growth as an organization.”

In an official statement from a new HFPA spokesperson, which now plans to internalize its communications, it thanked Sunshine Sachs for the decade-long relationship and said it has “provided invaluable service in representing the Association, its members and the Golden Globes.”

“Earlier this week, both the HFPA and Sunshine Sachs mutually agreed to a transition in its communications outreach. The HFPA plans to internalize its communications operations and Sunshine Sachs will continue to be available to provide strategic counsel,” a spokesperson said. “A fresh perspective is welcomed by the HFPA as it continues to push its reforms and DEI efforts and make the greater Hollywood community aware of all the significant changes that have been implemented by the Association.”

Last February marked one year since the Los Angeles Times reported about systemic problems at the HFPA — most notably that the organization had no Black members. But the reporting by the LA Times, TheWrap and others had uncovered accusations of corruption and other self-dealing. The enormous outrage led to a coalition of Hollywood publicists to lead a boycott against the HFPA that still has not been lifted, and NBC even refused to air the Golden Globes awards ceremony earlier this year.

The organization under the leadership of president Helen Hoehne and interim CEO Todd Boehly has led a string of reforms, including adding new members and hiring a chief diversity officer. But the HFPA failed to invite its previously promised number of Black journalists, and other members have left the organization over concerns that the HFPA’s tight-knit group of members have undermined true reform efforts.

Recently, TheWrap exclusively reported that two members of the Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter to the IRS asking it to investigate the HFPA’s nonprofit, tax exempt status based on reports of corruption and other conflicts of interest. And in the year since the LA Times’ initial exposé, TheWrap spoke with past and current members who were split about the degree to which the group has reformed since.

THR first reported the news.

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