HFPA pledges 13% black journalists
Golden Globes organisers respond after more than 100 public relations firms demand change.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has committed to increasing its membership to “a minimum” of 100 members this year, “with a requirement that at least 13% of the membership be Black journalists,” following ongoing criticism of its limited membership base.
More than 100 US public relations firms sent the association a letter calling for the Golden Globes organisers to address urgent change.
“As publicists we collectively represent the vast majority of artists in the entertainment industry,” the open letter said.
“We call on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to swiftly manifest profound and lasting change to eradicate the longstanding exclusionary ethos and pervasive practice of discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption endemic to the HFPA, funded by Dick Clark Productions, MRC, NBCUniversal and Comcast.”
Further it noted, “To reflect how urgent and necessary we feel this work is, we cannot advocate for our clients to participate in HFPA events or interviews as we await your explicit plans and timeline for transformational change.”
Here is the HFPA board’s statement:
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association reiterates that we are 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. 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.
We are also continuing to work on the comprehensive initiatives announced last week. Our outside legal counsel has already begun to work on how to effectively implement transformational changes to our organization, including a comprehensive review of our governance and code of conduct, and Dr. Shaun Harper, our new strategic diversity advisor, has identified the following workstreams:
Analyzing policies, practices, member recruitment activities, and member selection processes through the prism of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI);
Facilitating 20 quarterly trainings over the next five years on DEI topics ranging from implicit and explicit bias to strategically diversifying the membership, evolving the Association with changing demographics, welcoming Black members into an inclusive environment, and ensuring equitable pathways to leadership for women members, to name a few;
Facilitating introductions to prospective strategic DEI partner organizations in journalism and entertainment, and developing a strategy to sustain those mutually-rewarding relationships over many years;
Conducting interviews with members to invite their input on the development and strategic actualization of DEI goals. Also gathering qualitative insights from industry leaders on what they feel the Association must do to become more equitable, diverse, and inclusive;
and Systematically assessing and making transparent the Association’s year-to-year progress on DEI goals and commitments.
We have also started meeting with various advocacy groups and racially diverse partners to gather their input and hear their opinions on the additional reforms that need to take place. While we recognize this is a long-term process, we will continue to be transparent, provide updates, and have confidence in our ability to change and restore trust in our organization and the Golden Globes. As we do so, we invite others in the Hollywood community to join us in advancing racial equity in our industry.
More than 100 Hollywood publicity firms just announced they will advise clients to no longer participate in the Golden Globes until the group fixes the "discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption endemic to the HFPA" pic.twitter.com/IghffvHFfT
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) March 16, 2021