The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) released a statement on Sunday regarding diversity and transparency in their association, and assured their commitment to “transformational change” after allegations regarding lack of inclusivity.
The step was criticised by Time’s Up president Tina Tchen, who had said that “the right words are not enough”.
The Golden Globe Awards, that was held on February 28, came under fire for its non-inclusivity by several organisations including Time’s Up. An LA Times investigation revealed that of the total 87 HFPA members, there hasn’t been any black members in the last three decades.
Of the measures to be taken, the HFPA has decided to hire independent experts to advise and guide them in terms of “organisational diversity, equity, and inclusion” in addition to mandating “annual anti-racism and unconscious bias education and sexual harassment training for every member of the HFPA”. This is similar to the Emmys announcement on inclusion last week where they stated that they will go into a partnership with ReadySet to ensure a “comprehesive evaluation across the organisation”.
To be taken up over the next 60 days, the steps also include focusing on adding members of the African-American community and people from other underrepresented communities apart from “hiring a third-party, independent law firm to review the HFPA policies to ensure we are aligned with and exceed industry best practices in other critical areas”.
“Increasing our support of internship, mentorship, and scholarship programs for Black and other underrepresented students interested in international journalism” will be the HFPA’s way to include aspiring journalists.
To further create transparency into their operations, voting, processes, eligibility, and membership, a procedure will ensure individuals can report grievances or potential violation of ethical standards and code of conduct, confidentially. This will be put in place to ensure that matters are seriously investigated.
However, minutes after the HFPA’s statement, the Time’s Up organisation sought for “specific details, timetables for change, and firm commitments” on social media calling out on NBCUniversal and Dick Clark Productions, apart from the HFPA.
This year, while four Black artists won the Golden Globe in their respective categories, only six of them were nominated, including Viola Davis and Don Cheadle, highlighting the question of inclusivity of Black artists in both the nominations, as well the HFPA.
Tchen called the association’s stand “cosmetic” and that it cannot be fixed and wrote two letters regarding the same, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. It gained traction after the Los Angeles Times published a report exposing the HFPA of its hostility towards members from non-Black communities as well.
Consequently, the Golden Globes released a clip towards the conclusion of the event with the current HFPA president Ali Sar, former president Meher Tatna, and vice-president Helen Hoehne, speaking about Black representation and how vital it is to include Black journalists in the HFPA.