Hollywood News

HFPA Hires Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisors as Part of Its Reform Plans

Photo Credit: Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Los Angeles 2009, by ChildofMidnight, CC BY 3.0, Cropped

Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the curator of Golden Globes curator, said it was collaborating with Leadership Lab International as the association’s new diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant. The announcement followed the HFPA’s code of conduct that was released on May 23.

The initiative, as per HFPA’s statement, is co-facilitated by Houman Harouni and Annice E Fisher, whose work focuses on the intersection of equity, ethics, organisational development, and leadership.

While Harouni is a Harvard University lecturer on leadership and education and the lead instructor of the equity and inclusion fellowship at the institution, Fisher is the CEO and founder of The BEE FREE Woman and Developing Capacity Coaching, and the inaugural 2021 anti-racism pedagogy scholar at the American University School of Education where she also teaches exercising conscious leadership.

Earlier this month, 100 companies and studios like Amazon and Netflix refrained to work with the HFPA citing issues lack of inclusion and diversity in the association.

The measures came in the wake of attacks on the HFPA and the Golden Globes for their lack of inclusivity and receptivity in terms of policy change. The organisation’s first action came after the HFPA expelled former president and veteran member Phil Berk after he shared racist emails with the other members on April 18.

The board was pressured by the Globes’ broadcasting partner NBC Channel, and MRC, the owner of the Globes production company Dick Clark Productions.

Additionally, Globes’ diversity and inclusion advisor, Shaun Harper, resigned the same day over differences with HFPA’s legal advising team headed by Judy Smith.

The Time’s Up organisation in February called out on the HFPA for its lack of diversity and inclusion after the former revealed that the latter comprises an all-white 87-member committee.

Even in nominations, only six Black artists were nominated. Consequently, as a part of its “transformational changes”, the HFPA announced hiring two third-party advisors, a professor at the University of Southern California, and a firm as an independent counsel.

Harper was the USC professor who, as per The Hollywood Reporter, suggested adding 13 Black members to the existing committee ahead of the 2022 Golden Globes Awards, thereby, also bringing the total membership to 100. Smith slammed Harper for his suggestion during a meeting with Time’s Up representatives Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes.