Hollywood Foreign Press Association vows ‘transformational change’

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has vowed to make ‘transformational’ changes including hiring a diversity expert and mandating anti-racism training after it came under fire for not having a black member in more than 20 years.  

The organizer of the Golden Globes Awards announced plans on social media Saturday night to become more inclusive in the wake of a damning investigation.

But the group’s pledge to reform itself instantly drew skepticism from Time’s Up which fired back that ‘the right words are not enough’ and cast doubt about the commitment to fix issues it has ‘ignored for decades’. 

The scandal erupted last month following a report by the LA Times that showed the prolific industry entity had zero black journalists among its 87 current members and that calls to hire a diversity expert to address the issue amid George Floyd protests last year were shot down.

The probe sparked a social media movement, spearheaded by Time’s Up and black director Ava DuVernay, demanding change and shrouding Sunday’s 78th annual Golden Globes Awards in controversy.   

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has vowed to make 'transformational' changes including hiring a diversity expert and mandating anti-racism training after it came under fire for not having a black member in more than 20 years

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has vowed to make 'transformational' changes including hiring a diversity expert and mandating anti-racism training after it came under fire for not having a black member in more than 20 years

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has vowed to make ‘transformational’ changes including hiring a diversity expert and mandating anti-racism training after it came under fire for not having a black member in more than 20 years

The HFPA said it is committed ‘transformational change’ and the board will be ‘accountable’ for ensuring change happens.  

‘We at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are committed to transformational change,’ the group said. 

‘Effective immediately, the Board — in consultation with outside advisors — will oversee reforms and be accountable for that change.’ 

These changes include hiring an independent diversity, equity and inclusion expert to help the organization tackle the issues and hiring a third-party law firm to review its policies. 

‘Hiring an independent expert in organizational diversity, equity and inclusion to advise and guide us,’ it said in the statement.

‘Among other important tasks, this expert will audit our bylaws and membership requirements to help us guard against any exclusionary practices and achieve a more diverse membership.’

The organization will also introduce mandatory training on unconscious bias, anti-racism and sexual harassment for every member, it said.

It also vowed to engage in outreach work to try to recruit black and underrepresented talent through internship, mentorship and scholarship programs. 

The organizer of the Golden Globes Awards announced plans on social media Saturday night to become more inclusive in the wake of a damning investigation

The organizer of the Golden Globes Awards announced plans on social media Saturday night to become more inclusive in the wake of a damning investigation

The organizer of the Golden Globes Awards announced plans on social media Saturday night to become more inclusive in the wake of a damning investigation

The HFPA added that it was committed to increasing ‘transparency’ and that the changes would be made over the next two months.

‘These are the initial steps we will take over the next 60 days and we will carry out further action based on the recommendations that come from these initial reviews and assessments,’ the statement said. 

‘We are committed to achieving these objectives in order to increase transparency in our organization and build a more inclusive community. 

However, just minutes after the announcement, Time’s UP cast doubts on the organization’s commitment. 

Time’s Up president and CEO Tina Tchen slammed HFPA in a statement Saturday night questioning their sudden pledge to ‘fix problems they’ve ignored for decades’ and warning the ‘clock is ticking’.

‘So NBCUniversal, Dick Clark Productions, and the HFPA just declared that they have a plan to fix problems they’ve ignored for decades. We’re not so sure,’ she said.

But the group's pledge to reform itself instantly drew skepticism from Time's Up which fired back that 'the right words are not enough' and cast doubt about the commitment to fix issues it has 'ignored for decades'

But the group's pledge to reform itself instantly drew skepticism from Time's Up which fired back that 'the right words are not enough' and cast doubt about the commitment to fix issues it has 'ignored for decades'

But the group’s pledge to reform itself instantly drew skepticism from Time’s Up which fired back that ‘the right words are not enough’ and cast doubt about the commitment to fix issues it has ‘ignored for decades’

Ava DuVernay, who directed Oscar-nominated film Selma, echoed doubts about how the HFPA can tackle the problem from the inside

Ava DuVernay, who directed Oscar-nominated film Selma, echoed doubts about how the HFPA can tackle the problem from the inside

Ava DuVernay, who directed Oscar-nominated film Selma, echoed doubts about how the HFPA can tackle the problem from the inside

‘On behalf of the many artists who look to us to hold the HFPA’s feet to the fire on the racism, disrespect, misogyny, and alleged corrupt financial dealings of the Golden Globes, we need to see specific details, timetables for change, and firm commitments. 

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

DuVernay, who directed Oscar-nominated film Selma, echoed doubts about how the HFPA can tackle the problem from the inside. 

‘So, the board is gonna oversee its own reform?’ she tweeted. 

‘Same board that oversees and benefits from the current practices and has knowingly perpetuated the HFPA’s corrupt dealings and racial inequity for decades? Got it.’

The scandal erupted last month following a report by the LA Times that showed the prolific industry entity had zero black journalists among its 87 current members and that calls to hire a diversity expert to address the issue amid George Floyd protests last year were shot down. Pictured HFPA Board Chair Meher Tatna, HFPA President Ali Sar, and HFPA Vice President Helen Hoehne

The scandal erupted last month following a report by the LA Times that showed the prolific industry entity had zero black journalists among its 87 current members and that calls to hire a diversity expert to address the issue amid George Floyd protests last year were shot down. Pictured HFPA Board Chair Meher Tatna, HFPA President Ali Sar, and HFPA Vice President Helen Hoehne

The scandal erupted last month following a report by the LA Times that showed the prolific industry entity had zero black journalists among its 87 current members and that calls to hire a diversity expert to address the issue amid George Floyd protests last year were shot down. Pictured HFPA Board Chair Meher Tatna, HFPA President Ali Sar, and HFPA Vice President Helen Hoehne

A source told the LA Times, Time’s Up met with NBC executives this week to call on the network to push for change at the HFPA. 

At Sunday’s Golden Globes, HFPA members briefly addressed the storm as they took to the stage to say ‘black representation is vital’.

This came after the Times investigation revealed the issue of poor diversity was raised last summer amid nationwide protests demanding an end to systemic racism in the wake of the cop killing of black man George Floyd.

But the group voted against the option of hiring a diversity expert.

Current HFPA member Jenny Cooney admitted in an interview this week that its lack of diversity ‘was not really anything we focused on.’ 

The organization also came under fire for this year’s Golden Globe nominations, which completely snubbed the critically-acclaimed I May Destroy You by black actress and writer Michaela Coel.  

The industry organization has long been plagued by scandal and has promised reforms in the past.

Link hienalouca.com

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