After 20 Years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Has Finally Decided It's Time For Some Black Members

Illustration for article titled After 20 Years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Has Finally Decided It's Time For Some Black Members
Photo: Chris Pizzello (AP)

Between the fact that Hollywood Foreign Press Association has zero Black members and the expulsion of the organization’s former long-term President over a racist email, it’s not surprising that the organization behind the Golden Globes has decided it’s time for some real changes. Of course, this timely decision was probably helped along by the fact that over 100 PR firms signed a letter warning the HFPA that unless serious reforms were made, they would advise their clients to no longer work with the organization.

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On Thursday, current HFPA members overwhelmingly voted in favor of proposals from its board to radically change the makeup of its membership, with only 3 of the organization’s members voting against the proposals, reported Variety. Earlier this week, the board of the HFPA sent a letter to its membership detailing its plan to increase the number of people of color in its ranks and to implement new restrictions on gifts and payments that members can receive for working on committees.

The board of the HFPA plans to admit 20 new members this year, with a focus on recruiting Black members specifically. The organization wants to further increase its membership by 50% over the next 18 months, and says that it will do so with a specific focus on bringing in members from underrepresented groups.

In a statement about Thursday’s vote, HFPA president Ali Sar wrote:

“Today’s overwhelming vote to reform the Association reaffirms our commitment to change. That’s why we’ve already taken some action that will allow us to make swift progress. Because we understand the urgency and issue of transparency, we will be continuously updating the members as we move forward in making our organization more inclusive and diverse. Again, 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.”

Freelance writer & night blogger at Jezebel. Lover of television, astrology, and sandwiches.

DISCUSSION

Sean_Malloy
Sean Malloy

Maybe I’m just cynical, but the announcement reads as a collection of platitudes...

“Today’s overwhelming vote to reform the Association reaffirms our commitment to change. That’s why we’ve already taken some action that will allow us to make swift progress.”

Translation: “We’re finally getting called for real on our continuing history of shitty practices, so we’re finally going to have to do something before we get sidelined by the cancel culture.”

“Because we understand the urgency and issue of transparency, we will be continuously updating the members as we move forward in making our organization more inclusive and diverse.”

Translation: “We will immediately begin the practice of adding more token minorities to our membership, so that we can point at them as proof that we’ve changed our practices without actually changing anything.”

“Again, 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.”

Translation: “We’re all hoping that this flurry of virtue signaling will change the perception of our organization and make people think we’re woke as f***, yo.”

We’ll have to see, going forward, whether they’re sincere about the changes they say they want to make, or whether they’re just paying lip service.