The Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Thursday, “approved a new set of bylaws” that aim to restructure the organization and make it more inclusive and accountable.
The HFPA has been embroiled in controversies since February. The reforms related to membership follow the backlash that the HFPA received after an LA Times investigation revealed that there were no black members among the total 87 HFPA members. The Time’s Up organisation also called out the association for its lack of diversity and inclusion. It was also criticized for its slate of nominations this year that did not include potential Oscar frontrunners Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Da 5 Bloods, both of which were black-led films.
Under the new bylaws, new members will be selected by a credentials committee that will now consist of five non-HFPA members, three HFPA members, and the Board President.
The membership criteria has been expanded with the elimination of the Southern California residency requirement. Now, any qualified journalist living in the US, and working with a foreign publication is eligible to apply. Eligibility has now been expanded to journalists outside of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), and membership is now open to journalists who work in media beyond print.
New members will immediately be allowed to vote on the Golden Globes, vote on board members, and serve on committees.
As part of the new bylaws, an election cycle for the new Board of Directors has been set into motion. This includes the addition of outside independent directors as well as a re-accreditation process for all existing members.
“Three months ago, we made a promise to commit to transformational change and with this vote, we kept the last and most significant promise in reimagining the HFPA and our role in the industry,” said Ali Sar, HFPA Board President. “All of these promised reforms can serve as industry benchmarks and allow us to once again partner meaningfully with Hollywood moving forward.”
The new bylaws state that majority of the existing members have “completed their initial diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training sessions,” and will continue to participate in monthly DEI workshops. The HFPA will also employ a new Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Human Resource Officer, and Chief Diversity Officer.
In March, the HFPA announced that it is hiring two third-party advisors, a professor at the University of Southern California, and a firm as an independent counsel. However, this has not been implemented yet. In addition to this, after the HFPA expelled former president and veteran member Phil Berk for sharing racist emails with the other members in April, it announced its Reform Plans to tackle the issues of diversity and inclusion.
NBC announced in May that it will not air the Golden Globes in 2022. Both Netflix and Amazon Studios, along with several other brands, decided to distance themselves from the association until “meaningful changes”are introduced.