The Golden Globes is the second biggest awards show in Hollywood, and it’s in danger of getting the boot. Last week, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization behind the Golden Globes, released its plans for reform. At issue is the lack of diversity among its voting members. Most importantly, the absence of a single, Black HFPA member. Their plan for change was not close to being enough for some of Hollywood’s biggest players. Now, publicists, major studios, and heavy-hitting actors are walking away until more is done.
The Golden Globes have said that part of their reform is to increase the number of people of color in their ranks, limit gifts given to voting members, and address payment for those who sit on committees.
Both Netflix and Amazon have publicly stated they will not be working with HFPA until more is done. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos let his thoughts about the reform be known stating, “Today’s (May 7th) vote is an important first step,” Sarandos noted in Thursday’s letter to HFPA brass. “However, we don’t believe these proposed new policies–particularly around the size and speed of membership growth–will tackle the HFPA’s systemic diversity and inclusion challenges, or the lack of clear standards for how your members should operate.” He went on to say, “So we’re stopping any activities with your organization until more meaningful changes are made.”
Many actors, actresses, and directors are also walking away. Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo, and Scarlett Johansson have all spoken out. Johansson told Variety over the weekend that she has not participated in many of the Golden Globes activities for some time. The actress cited “sexist questions and remarks.” She went on to urge Hollywood to distance themselves from the Globes until more is done saying in part, “Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”
HFPA came under serious fire earlier this year when it was reported that among other issues, not one Black member has been in their voting organization in over 20 years. Just last month the HFPA was in the headlines again when Phil Berk, a former HFPA president, told other members in an email that Black Lives Matter is a “hate movement.” He was released immediately.