The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that puts together and hosts The Golden Globe Awards ceremony every year, has found itself in the midst of turmoil as they seek to reform their ranks and become a more inclusive group. Ahead of this year's awards ceremony it was revealed in a bombshell report that the group, which has only 80+ members, had zero Black members. Though they have previously announced an intention to become more inclusive and expand their membership, their fixes are apparently not enough for some as Netflix has sent them a letter saying they will no longer work with them.
"Like many in our industry, we've been waiting for today's announcement in the hope that you would acknowledge the breadth of issues facing the HFPA and provide a clear roadmap for change," Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote in a letter to the HFPA Leadership Committee (H/T Deadline). "Today's vote is an important first step, however, we don't believe these proposed new policies – particularly around the size and speed of membership growth – will tackle the HFPA's systemic diversity and inclusion challenges, or the lack of clear standards for how your members should operate. So we're stopping any activities with your organization until more meaningful changes are made."
Sarandos concluded, "We know that you have many well-intentioned members who want real change – and that all of us have more work to do to create an equitable and inclusive industry, but Netflix and many of the talent and creators we work with cannot ignore the HFPA's collective failure to address these crucial issues with urgency and rigor."
For reference, Netflix received 42 nominations at the most recent Golden Globes, winning six trophies including Best Drama Series for The Crown and Best Actor for the late Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
The announcement from the HFPA that Sarandos refers to was one made by the group yesterday where they announced they had "voted overwhelmingly to adopt a plan for radical reform of the Association," among the plans they were enacting immediately was "identifying new members to increase the membership more than 50 percent in the next 18 months, with new members being allowed to vote on the Golden Globes."
According to Deadlin, Netflix believes these numbers aren't enough to particularly alter the larger issues at play with the HFPA and are instead thinking they should expand to "around 300 members to truly enact change and inclusion." A growth of 50% by the HFPA would bring them to a total of about 120 members.
Netflix is the first studio to make a proclamation to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association about their reform efforts, but the group Time's Up and several top Public Relations firms in LA have drawn a line in the sand as well. Though awards season for 2021 just wrapped up a few weeks ago many are eager to see these substantial changes be made to the Golden Globes group ahead of next year's awards.
(Cover Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)