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HFPA Promises New Diversity Efforts After Golden Globes Scandal, Time’s Up Remains Skeptical

Ava DuVernay also questioned the Hollywood Foreign Press after the organization, plagued by scandal, announced inclusion efforts on social media.

FILE - This Dec. 9, 2019 file photo shows replicas of Golden Globe statues in Beverly Hills, Calif. Facing heightened scrutiny arounds its membership and practices, the group behind the Golden Globe Awards says that it is committed to immediate “transformational change” and reforms. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association said in a statement Saturday, March 6, 2021, that it would focus on adding Black and other underrepresented members to its organization in addition to increasing transparency around its operations.  (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Golden Globes statues

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) issued a statement over the weekend promising to make new efforts at diversity and inclusion in its membership. A Los Angeles Times probe ahead of the HFPA’s Golden Globes ceremony broadcast on NBC last week revealed the organization has zero Black members, among other troubling patterns within the association, which the HFPA now promises to address.

But the statement (below) left the Time’s Up organization, which according to Deadline had a sit-down meeting with NBC executives to discuss an action plan, skeptical: “So NBCUniversal, Dick Clark Productions, and the HFPA just declared that they have a plan to fix problems they’ve ignored for decades. We’re not so sure. On behalf of the many artists who look to us to hold the HFPA’s feet to the fire on the racism, disrespect, misogyny, and alleged corrupt financial dealings of the Golden Globes, we need to see specific details, timetables for change, and firm commitments. The right words are not enough. The clock is ticking.”

“Hiring an independent expert in organizational diversity, equity and inclusion to advise and guide us. Among other important tasks, this expert will audit our bylaws and membership requirements to help us guard against any exclusionary practices and achieve a more diverse membership,” the HFPA said as part of its statement.

The LA Times piece also alleged that the HFPA voted not to hire a diversity consultant in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.

Another vocal critic of the HFPA ahead of the Golden Globes was Ava DuVernay, who was also a presenter at the event that took place on February 28. She also responded to HFPA’s announcement with skepticism: “So, the board is gonna oversee its own reform? Same board that oversees and benefits from the current practices and has knowingly perpetuated the HFPA’s corrupt dealings and racial inequity for decades? Got it.”

“These are the initial steps we will take over the next 60 days and we will carry out further action based on the recommendations that come from these initial reviews and assessments,” HFPA’s statement read. “We are committed to achieving these objectives in order to increase transparency in our organization and build a more inclusive community.”

The HFPA also used the Golden Globes platform during the ceremony to promise to make improvements following the reveal of a lack of inclusion and alleged corrupt practices by the LA Times story.

During a live presentation in the ceremony, HFPA Vice President Helen Hoehne said, “We celebrate the work of artists from around the globe. We recognize we have our own work to do. Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.” Former HFPA president Meher Tatna said, “Everyone from all underrepresented communities [should] get a seat at our table, and we are going to make that happen.”

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