The Time’s Up organisation on Tuesday released a list of recommendations addressed to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) to reform the organisation after it came under fire in February for its lack of inclusivity.
The HFPA responded on social media by declaring the hiring of two advisors, one a professor at the University of Southern California, and a firm as an independent counsel.
The Golden Globe Awards is curated by the HFPA, that is funded and enabled by Dick Clark Productions, NBCUniversal, and Comcast. In February, the Time’s Up organisation called out the association for not having any Black person in the 87-member HFPA. Even in nominations, only six Black artists were nominated.
While the Golden Globes released a clip towards the conclusion of the event with the current HFPA office-bearers speaking about Black representation and the need to ensure their inclusion, Times’s Up president Tina 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.
The movement thus, came up with methods to help the HFPA “rid itself of the institutional racism, sexism, disrespect, alleged corrupt financial dealings, and other unethical practices that respected news outlets have documented and reported for years,” the statement read.
The recommendations have been made in terms of membership and governance, ensuring safety and an ethical functioning, and a process of review of nominations and awards, all of which can be put in place from the 2022 award cycle.
A statement from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). pic.twitter.com/72kqMb80k9
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) March 9, 2021
To be able to “have corporate governance mechanisms in place to implement reforms quickly,” Time’s Up seeks the immediate resignation of all the office-bearers of the HFPA and the installation of an independent counsel that will not only “implement changes to membership criteria, bylaws, and policies, and select new members for HFPA”, but also oversee the election of an entirely new board.
The HFPA thus, announced that provost professor Shaun Harper will conduct an audit and review of the association’s by-laws, culture and eligibility requirements, on one hand, and conduct anti-racism and unconscious bias trainings for the members.
The membership of the new board, with at least 300 members, also quashes lifetime memberships and to ensure a quality of members, sets down parameters to be met by applicants. These include, and will not be restricted to the location of the applicants, that the applicant with at least five years of journalistic experience and having a certain number of published coverage, be registered with the Motion Picture Association. They will be reviewed and approved by the independent outside counsel.
To make such a reformed space a safe one, the list also suggests that the HFPA “develop and publish anti-harassment, anti-bullying, and anti-discrimination policies” by setting up “multiple methods for reporting violations”. These methods must ensure confidentiality and must be dealt with in a professional manner, including non-harassment of members of the industry.
The Ropes and Gray team comprising Alex Rene, Morey Ward and James Dowden, will step in to ensure the development of a confidential reporting system, apart from conducting a review of HFPA policies, membership process, operation, and governance.
Nominations and awards in the review period of the members must be looked after by “independent industry expert or group of experts.” It seeks to ensure the extent of lobbying of certain films and the conduct of HFPA members in regards to the same.
Moreover, the list also recommends that with the leverage that the Golden Globes comes with influencing other award ceremonies like the Academy Awards, “must not occur during the pre-nomination window of the Academy Awards”.
The list came in the aftermath of the HFPA on March 7 announcing its commitment to diversity.