The Golden Globes is investigating Egyptian journalist Howaida Hamdy, a Globes voter and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, for writing on social media that “Hollywood is the Zionists’ stronghold” and allegedly publishing other anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments in her work, TheWrap has learned.
An individual familiar with the matter told TheWrap that the organization, now privately owned by Dick Clark Productions, was looking into Hamdy following a report by CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis, accusing Hamdy of “extremism” and the “glorification of terrorism.”
Hamdy did not respond to two attempts to reach her through her X social media account.
Tamar Sternthal, director of CAMERA’s Israeli office, told TheWrap that Hamdy “supported targeting Israeli civilians in a March 2022 film critique she wrote in Arabic for her local audience.”
In that review of “Huda’s Salon,” Hamdy said that director Hany Abu-Assad (who identifies as Palestinian-Dutch) was hostile to Palestinian resistance and playing into what she viewed as Western prejudice. After arguing that the filmmaker’s 2005 film, “Paradise Now,” offers proof that he “did not realize the difference between the terrorist and the self-sacrificing warrior,” she turns to “Huda’s Salon,” writing, “He no longer realizes the difference between resistance and occupation, the homeland and the enemy … once again he is courting the West, cunningly twisting the truth’s neck …” (CAMERA translated the original Arabic into English for its report. TheWrap did not independently verify the translation.)
But in April 2022, Hamdy wrote about the same film, “Huda’s Salon,” for the Golden Globes website — and in doing so, Sternthal said, “she carefully removed all hateful rhetoric” from her English-language piece. That piece was not a review but a report that the film had won an award at the 2022 Movies That Matter Festival, an international film festival focused on human rights. Hamdy did not comment on Abu-Assad’s politics, but mentioned only that “Huda’s Salon” sparked controversy in parts of the “Arab World” because of a nude scene.
The CAMERA report also cited several social media posts from Hamdy. In 2013 she tweeted in Arabic, “Hollywood is the Zionists’ stronghold anyhow, with most films oriented [in the Zionist direction] and biased.”
In another from 2013, she criticized “World War Z”: “What is important is that this time, the film is presenting Israel and its citizens as the embodiment of nobility, humanism and sacrifice — a repulsive thing.”
Both tweets have been deleted since the publication of the CAMERA report.
Hamdy joined the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and became a Golden Globes voter in October 2021. The HFPA is in the process of being dissolved as the Globes transition to a for-profit model, but members of the former organization, which currently lists 95 members, have been invited to remain as paid Globe voters, earning $75,000 per year for participating.
An additional 200 international journalists have been recruited to vote for the Globes on an unpaid basis.
The person with knowledge of the situation said that a full list of voters would be released in the next couple of weeks. A spokesperson declined to comment for this story.
NBC canceled the 2022 Golden Globes broadcast after a scathing Los Angeles Times article in February 2021 revealed that the HFPA had no Black members among its then 87 members, as well as detailing numerous accusations of improper behavior within the organization, which TheWrap has exclusively reported for many years. The HFPA vowed to reform, drafting a new code of professional and ethical conduct approved by members in May 2021 and endeavoring to diversify its membership.
That code of conduct, which specifically affirms the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, states that it sought to “foster(s) a culture that respects and values individuals of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, religions, identities and experiences,” a statement that seems in conflict with Hamdy’s tweets.
The Globes currently does not have a TV deal to broadcast the January 2024 ceremony.
In January 2023, Penske Media Eldridge acquired Dick Clark Productions, the company that produces the Golden Globes and in February scheduled the 81st Golden Globes for Jan. 7, 2024. In June 2023, the companies bought the rights to the Golden Globes from the HFPA and it was announced that the HFPA would be winding down and the Globes would transition to a for-profit model.
According to the official Golden Globes page for Hamdy, she began her journalism career in 1988 and has written for many Egyptian and Arab publications, and currently holds the position of Deputy Editor-in-Chief for Al-Akhbar, the largest news publication in Egypt. Hamdy also writes for the entertainment magazine Akbar Al-Nogoum and the online platform Akhbar AlYoum, the latter of which provided some of the content of the CAMERA report.
Scott Mendelson contributed to this report.