Following ongoing criticism over a lack of diversity in its selections and membership, plus the recent news that Netflix and Amazon are considering withdrawing their films out of consideration for prizes in the future, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the voting body behind the Golden Globes — has announced a series of changes in both their operating procedures and membership policies.
Reuters reported that HFPA is “hiring a chief diversity officer, emphasizing recruitment of Black journalists and widening the pool of potential applicants for the group of foreign entertainment journalists.”
“The organization also voted to add at least 20 new members to the current 87 this year and to expand its roster by 50 percent over the next 18 months,” Reuters reported.
The changes in procedure were announced early last week and approved on Thursday, May 6.
In a statement, HFPA President Ali Sar said, “Today’s overwhelming vote to reform the association reaffirms our commitment to change. … We understand that the hard work starts now. We remain dedicated to becoming a better organization and an example of diversity, transparency and accountability in the industry.”
The HFPA first came under fire earlier this year, ahead of the announcement of its 2021 awards, after the Los Angeles Times conducted an investigation into the group and found that it had no current Black members. HFPA was also highly criticized for long-standing ethical questions, including relationships with studios that may influence Golden Globe nominees and eventual winners.
According to Reuters, “The new rules require that HFPA members stop accepting promotional items from film and TV studios and that the group post a public list of members with links to their work.”
Still, despite the announcement, many critics of the awards ceremony have signaled that even these changes may not go far enough to fix what they consider a truly broken organization.
In a statement, Tina Tchen, the CEO of the influential Time’s Up organization, said, “Sadly, the list of ‘reforms’ adopted yesterday, and endorsed by NBCUniversal and Dick Clark Productions, are sorely lacking and hardly transformational. Instead, these measures ensure that the current membership of the HFPA will remain in the majority and that the next Golden Globes will be decided with the same fundamental problems that have existed for years.”
“The window-dressing platitudes adopted yesterday are neither transformation that was promised nor what our creative community deserves,” Tchen said. “Any organization or sponsors that set themselves up to pass judgment on our vibrant community of creators and talent must do better.”