• By Kelsie Crough

Organization behind Golden Globes addresses diversity and transparency issues

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization behind the Golden Globes, released a statement of diversity and transparency on the Golden Globes website on Sat., March 6.

The HFPA said in their statement that they are committed to change and become more inclusive. HFPA says that the Board and its advisors will oversee this change and action will begin immediately. They say that their mission as a diverse group is to cover and advance entertainment and film professionals from a variety of backgrounds.

“But we must and will do more,” said HFPA officials. “We are committed to achieving these objectives in order to increase transparency in our organization and build a more inclusive community.”

HFPA officials said that along with immediate actions, there are further steps in the works. The statement says that these steps will include hiring an independent expert to audit their membership requirements, code of conduct and laws, requiring unconscious bias education and sexual harassment training for all members, improve transparency on their organization, and increasing support and outreach for Black and underrepresented journalists and student journalists. The full list can be found here.

“These are the initial steps we will take over the next 60 days,” said HFPA officials. “We will carry out further action based on recommendations that come from these initial reviews and assessments.”

Stacy Perman, a staff writer at The LA Times wrote an article that said the organization has been facing major backlash recently after not hiring a diversity consultant last summer. The article says that HFPA also faced criticism over a recent Times investigation that discovered there were zero Black journalists in the organization.

“The HFPA does have a number of people of color in its ranks and says 35% of its members are from non-European countries,” said Perman. “The HFPA, however, has not had a Black member in more than 20 years.”

To read more about the HFPA in Perman’s article, click here.

According to USA Today, the statement and its action plan came less than a week after the organization promised to be more inclusive at the Golden Globes Awards. USA Today says the advocacy group Time’s Up, that helps underrepresented artists, are skeptical and searching for more details and stronger commitments from the HFPA.

“The right words are not enough,” said Tina Tchen, Time’s Up president and CEO in a statement quoted by USA Today.

USA Today says that the Golden Globes ratings dropped 64% from last year and had the smallest audience since they began airing on NBC in 1996. According to Golden Globes officials, this year was the first year that nominations were announced virtually.

The award show aired on Feb. 28, 2021 via livestream and was hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehlor. To see a full list of nominees and winners of the Golden Globes, please visit their site here.

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