The scandal-hit organisation behind film and television’s Golden Globes on Thursday voted for sweeping reforms after being slammed by Hollywood for its record on diversity.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association — a group of 90-odd international journalists who wield outsized influence due to the prestigious Globes — has been reeling since a report in February revealed it has zero Black members.
A group of over 100 Tinseltown publicists wrote to the HFPA in March demanding an end to “discriminatory behaviour, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption,” joining criticism from the Time’s Up group.
On Thursday, the HFPA overwhelmingly approved a package of reforms including boosting membership by 50 per cent, including more Black journalists, and lifting notoriously strict and opaque limits on who gets admitted.
“Very small numbers said no or abstained — the majority said yes,” said one member, who asked not to be named.
“I am so relieved — we need to change, we need to improve ourselves in order to survive,” the member told AFP.
The HFPA did not immediately comment.
The Golden Globes are second in importance only to the Oscars in Hollywood’s film award season, but their future status has been called into question by threats of a boycott over some of the HFPA’s controversies.
Former president Philip Berk was expelled last month for forwarding an email dubbing Black Lives Matter a “hate movement,” and two consultants hired to address the HFPA’s diversity issues quit over a lack of progress.
While most HFPA members work regularly for well-known media outlets, the exclusion of countless bona fide journalists has drawn scrutiny.
And more broadly the organisation’s track record of overlooking Black- and minority-led film and television at the Globes is frequently criticised.
But studios are keen to ensure that HFPA voters have seen their films and television shows — sometimes under rather luxurious conditions, according to some involved who have spoken on the issue on condition of anonymity.
And there was positive news for the HFPA in March when an antitrust lawsuit by a Norwegian entertainment journalist accusing it of sabotaging non-members while gorging on lavish perks and unparalleled access to Hollywood stars, was thrown out by a California judge.