The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is in hot water yet again. The controversial group suffered its worst blow yet, being dropped by its broadcast partner NBC, who will not air the Golden Globes ceremony next year.
The HFPA is made up of 87 entertainment media people including critics, journalists and photographers who are in charge of awarding the Golden Globes. The group came under fire earlier this year over their lack of diversity when the Los Angeles Times revealed there wasn’t a single Black member as well as other “ethical lapses” in the group’s operations.
Many pointed to the HFPA’s racial makeup (or lack thereof) as the reason notable releases such as Da 5 Bloods and Judas and the Black Messiah weren’t considered for Best Motion Picture, why Minari was placed in the Best Foreign Language Film category, and why the critically-acclaimed series I May Destroy You was snubbed in favour of the widely-panned comedy Emily in Paris. For the latter, it was revealed later that roughly 30 HFPA members were treated to a bougie Parisian vacation to visit the show’s set, causing many to see the lavish trip as a bribe.
Things went from bad to worse last summer when the HFPA’s former long-term president emailed an article to members that labelled Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate group.” The organization apologized, but the public outcry added gasoline to an already raging fire.
NBC isn’t the first company to cut ties with the HFPA since the scandal. Last week, the CEO of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, told the organization they will not participate in the Globes until they’ve gone through a reform. The chief of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke, followed suit with a statement explaining they had not been working with the HFPA and were “awaiting a sincere and significant resolution before moving forward.”
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“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes,” NBC told CNN Business of their decision.
Tom Cruise, winner of three Golden Globes, recently sent his golden statues back to the HFPA in protest. Scarlett Johansson also slammed the awards with accusations of sexism: “As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows. In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment,” she said. Johansson herself is not without controversy as the actress has been accused of taking roles intended for minorities and whitewashing Asian characters.
The HFPA responded to the backlash yesterday by outlining the timeline for their plan for reform. The group previously made a statement acknowledging they are “fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them” and that they “understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds.”