The organization behind the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is vowing to do more to diversify its members in the wake of a scathing expose over the weekend in the Los Angeles Times.
Just three days before its biggest event, the HFPA issued a statement that said, “We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them. We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”
A spokesperson for the HFPA also said the organization continually reviews its rules and has not ruled out changing them to widen our pool of applicants in the future. The rep also pointed out that the HFPA members are majority female and more than 35% of its members are from non-European countries.
A report in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday said the HFPA paid nearly $2 million to its own members for working on internal committees, an increase of more than double what it was three years ago, that raises questions about whether doing so breaches tax-exempt regulations.
The report also stated that of the HFPA’s 87 members, none were Black.
An antitrust lawsuit filed in August 2020 by Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa accused the organization of allowing a “culture of corruption” and claimed “the tax-exempt organization operated as a kind of cartel, barring qualified applicants — including herself — and monopolizing all-important press access while improperly subsidizing its members’ income.” Flaa’s lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in November.
Illustrating Flaa’s claims, the Times spoke with one HFPA member who remained anonymous but described a lavish trip provided by Paramount Network for 30 members to Paris to visit the set of the TV series “Emily in Paris,” which included a two-night stay at a five-star hotel and lunch at a private museum where the show was filming. Coincidently, last month, “Emily in Paris” received a nomination for lead star Lily Collins, as well as a nomination for Best Television Comedy/Musical despite mixed reviews. Even Deborah Copaken, a writer on “Emily in Paris,” said in a Guardian column that the show did not deserve to be nominated, while “I May Destroy You,” a drama about the aftermath of sexual assault, was completely shut out of the Globes.
The report was just the latest black mark on the 78-year-old organization of journalists and photographers who report on the entertainment industry for outlets outside the U.S. It has been at the center of allegations of sexual shenanigans and harassment, lawsuits claiming fraud and charges of racism, as well as criticism as to how winners are chosen for their annual Golden Globe Awards.