HFPA pledges 13 percent Black membership after firms tell clients to boycott Golden Globes
Dozens of publicists said to skip Hollywood Foreign Press Association events until they had a plan for diversity.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has formally committed to having a 13-percent Black membership after a bombshell report last month from The Los Angeles Times revealed that there were none among its fold.
The group, which annually bestows the Golden Globe Awards to film and television stars, directors and more, is comprised of 87 foreign journalists. The Golden Globes’ influence is far-reaching as it is often seen as a precursor to the annual Academy Awards, which generally follow it months later.
According to a report in Variety, the move to add Black members comes on the heels of dozens of Hollywood publicists urging their clients to boycott HFPA events until a plan of action to increase diversity was detailed.
TimesUp, the non-profit entertainment watchdog entity established in the wake of the #MeToo movement, expressed its union with the publicists.
“We are proud to be in solidarity with the voices of over 100 Hollywood PR firms in calling for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to radically transform the Golden Globes,” officials’ statement said. “We agree that anything less than transparent, meaningful change will no longer be acceptable. The entire world is watching.”
The HFPA board released a statement on Monday, saying, in part, that it is committed to “making necessary changes within our organization and in our industry as a whole.”
“We also acknowledge that we should have done more, and sooner,” the group said. “As a demonstration of our commitment, the board has unanimously approved a plan to increase membership to a minimum of 100 members this year, with a requirement that at least 13 percent of the membership be Black journalists.”
The HFPA has also pledged to continue other diversity efforts, including in its training, also targeting equity and inclusion.
This year’s Golden Globes’, held just over two weeks ago, marked the first time in 35 years a Black woman won Best Actress when singer Andra Day, making her film debut, took home the statuette for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in The United States vs Billie Holiday. The late Chadwick Boseman, won the Best Actor trophy for his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Their wins are the first time in Golden Globes history that both the Best Actor and Best Actress winners were African American.
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