The Golden Globes is under fire after a shocking report sheds light on its membership.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times published an exposé that claimed the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the award show, has several members of color, none of whom are Black.
While acknowledging this unfortunate fact, the group of 87 international journalists say they are “committed to addressing” this issue.
After the nominees for the 78th ceremony were announced earlier this month, an overwhelming number of social media users decried the organization for failing to recognize Black-led, critically acclaimed movies such as “Da 5 Bloods,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” in the Best Motion Picture — Drama category.
On a similar note, many criticized the nonprofit for recognizing the controversial Netflix TV series “Emily in Paris” — about a white marketing executive who moves to Paris — over programs such as “Insecure” starring Issa Rae and “I May Destroy You” starring Michaela Coel.
When asked about this controversy, a representative told the Times, “We do not control the individual votes of our members,” adding, “We seek to build cultural understanding through film and TV and recognize how the power of creative storytelling can educate people around the world to issues of race, representation, and orientation.”
The report also questions the credibility of HFPA’s members, who some say work for obscure outlets.
An unnamed publicist told the newspaper, “A lot of them work with outlets I’ve never heard of,” adding, “We give them amazing access. We are forced to do that because of who they are.”
In response, an HFPA representative slammed this criticism as “outdated and unfair,” and says the organization has “a robust admissions and reaccreditation process” and that its members “write for some of the most reputable publications in the world.”
Additionally, the Times takes aim at the HFPA’s membership process, writing, “Rejected applicants and current members both claim that well-credentialed foreign journalists have been turned away from the group out of concern that they would encroach on members’ professional turf.”
A reported member was quoted saying, “Lots of members aren’t serious journalists. We admit people that are not real journalists because they are not a threat to anyone.”
In a second report, also published Sunday, the Times claims that HFPA members can at times receive lavish perks from networks and studios.
In 2019, over 30 HFPA members were reportedly flown to France to visit the set of “Emily in Paris” and were treated by Paramount Network to a two-night stay at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel.
The second report also discusses the allegation that the HFPA pays its own members to serve as officers and on various committees. Reportedly, in the fiscal year ending in June 2020, HFPA members allegedly collected nearly $2 million in payments from the group.
Last year, Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa filed an antitrust lawsuit against the HFPA alleging that the organization was depriving her of potential income by barring her and other qualified journalists from becoming members in order to protect the sale value of current members’ reportage in various international territories.
While Flaa’s original complaint was dismissed, her amended suit is currently under consideration.
In response, an HFPA spokesperson told the Times that Flaa’s claims are “entirely false.”
The 78th annual Golden Globe Awards will air live on Sunday, February 28, starting at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST on NBC.