Golden Globes: after controversy, HFPA explains plans for more diversity

Following the recent controversy over the lack of diversity within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globe voters), the association explains its plans to be more inclusive.


The day before the Golden Globes Awards Ceremony, several personalities launched on social networks the #TimesUpGlobes denouncing the lack of diversity within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). This association brings together 87 journalists specializing in American cinema who depend on foreign publications in the United States. And not a single one of these journalists is black. Information revealed by the Los Angeles Times following the outcry over the nominations.

The selection of the HFPA had indeed been strongly criticized this year when the nominations were announced. Several professionals and spectators particularly regret the absence of films and series that have received acclaim such as I May Destroy You by and with Michaela Coel or even Da 5 bloods by Spike Lee, while the series Emily in Paris is nominated in 2 categories (Best musical series or comedy and Best Actress in a Musical Series or Comedy).

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Very quickly the HFPA reacts and 3 members of the association, present during the award ceremony, admit that the “HFPA has work to do on itself“. A spokesperson also declares to Sky News : “We are fully committed to ensuring that our members are a reflection of the communities around the world who love film, television and the artists who inspire and educate them. We understand that we need to bring in black members, as well as members from other under-represented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement a plan of action to achieve these goals as soon as possible.

During the awards ceremony, some winners insisted on the lack of diversity, like Sacha Baron Cohen, awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy for Borat 2, who begins his speech with a: “Thanks to the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press!“. In her acceptance speech, Jane Fonda adds:”Let’s all make an effort so that all stories have a chance to be seen and heard“.

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A week after the controversy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave more details of its inclusiveness plans, via a Twitter post: “We have hired an independent expert in organizational diversity, equity and inclusion to advise and guide us. Among other important tasks, this expert will check our statutes and our membership conditions to help us guard against any exclusionary practice and to obtain a more diverse membership.. “

In addition to hiring an “independent expert” and defining outreach plans, the HFPA adds that it will also, like Hollywood companies, hire a third-party law firm to “review HFPA policies to ensure we are aligned with and exceeding industry best practices in critical areas“By working with the law firm, the HFPA seeks to set up.”a solid process“where any member can report violations of ethical standards or the code of conduct with”the certainty that it will be the subject of a full and fair investigation“.

Finally, the association underlines: “Our mission as a diverse group of journalists from over 40 different countries has always been to cover entertainment and film, advance the critical work of entertainment-related charities, and uplift future film and film professionals. television from all walks of life, united by their common passion and love for film and television.

But we need to do more and we will. These are the first steps we will take openly over the next 60 days and take further action based on the recommendations from these early reviews and assessments. We are committed to achieving these goals in order to increase the transparency of our organization and build a more inclusive community. “

The right words are not enough. The clock is ticking.

A statement that has, it seems, not convinced. As proof, the reaction of the director Ava DuVernay who responds via her twitter account : “So the board will oversee its own reform? The same council that oversees and benefits from current practices and that has knowingly perpetuated the corrupt practices and racial inequality of the HFPA for decades? Understood. “

A few minutes after the post of the HFPA, the president of Time’s Up, Tina Tchen released a statement criticizing the association and criticizing it for having done too little and too late: “So NBCUniversal (editor’s note: Golden Globes broadcasters), Dick Clark Productions and the HFPA have just declared that they have a plan to solve the problems they have ignored for decades. We’re not so sure. On behalf of the many artists who rely on us to keep the HFPA on their toes in the face of the Golden Globes’ racism, disrespect, misogyny and allegedly corrupt financial dealings, we need to see specific details, timetables for change and firm commitments. The right words are not enough. The clock is ticking“.

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Golden Globes: after controversy, HFPA explains plans for more diversity

Hank Gilbert