Top Hollywood Publicist Torches Golden Globes Group After For-Profit Vote: ‘I Feel Duped and Misinformed’ (Exclusive)

Scarlett Johansson’s publicist Marcel Pariseau was among the powerful publicists who have boycotted the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Netflix

A top Hollywood publicist who represents Marvel star Scarlett Johansson torched the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after the Golden Globes group voted to sell itself to billionaire Todd Boehly on Thursday, writing in a scathing letter to the group’s president: “I feel duped and misinformed.”

In an email to HFPA president Helen Hoehne obtained by TheWrap, Marcel Pariseau of True Public Relations wrote that he and his industry colleagues had been trying to help the HFPA enact reform, but have come away disappointed.

“As a group of publicists we have been asking for the last few months and much, much longer for a zoom call/meeting with all of us… publicists, streamers, studios, networks, clients to garner an update and to educate us about your progress and reforms,” he wrote, cc’ing dozens of other prominent Hollywood publicists. 

He continued: “Once we had that information the goal was to help the HFPA towards a positive and productive path in terms of the Globes moving forward that was beneficial for ALL.

“Many of you may not believe this sentiment but that was the intention for many of us… I know it was for me. At the moment, I feel duped and misinformed.”

Pariseau was furious to learn from media coverage – which included TheWrap – disclosing that Boehly would be paying the 100 HFPA members $75,000 per year each for the next five years. The vote to sell to Boehly was overwhelming, 76-18, according to two people who participated.  

Neither the payments nor the vote tally was disclosed by Hoehne in her update to the publicists. “Is that true?” Pariseau demanded to know.  

Pariseau represents top Hollywood talent including Johansson, Oliva Munn, Dolly Parton, Kristen Bell and many others.

He continued in his letter that requests for transparency in the sale process was met “with pleasantries but no substantial updates were given nor the scheduling of the informative meeting which we requested.”

Pariseau said the pleasantries seemed to be a “stalling” and “misleading” strategy until the vote could be carried through. And he demanded to know if any deal to telecast the 2023 Golden Globes had been reached. 

He insisted: “It is time for transparency.”

Other publicists who have withdrawn their clients from HFPA press conferences for more than a year could not be reached for comment. 

Hoehne did not respond immediately to a request for comment. NBC did not respond to a request for clarification on the 2023 Globes. 

It is unclear how broader Hollywood will respond to Boehly’s bold move to take the HFPA to private, for-profit status.  At a contentious members meeting last Wednesday, Boehly parried questions about the for-profit status – including one member who asked if he could get one check up front for the full five years – saying, “I’m getting really tired of this.”

A group of top publicists planned to meet on Friday to determine a response to the HFPA’s change of status.