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NBCUniversal takes a closer look at the globe controversy – Deadline

What a week it has been for the besieged HFPA, as personal Hollywood publicists banded together in a rare display of unity, demanding change and threatening to hit the group where it hurts the most by denying them the access to the glitter of cinema and television. Ava DuVernay taken to twitter to recall an HFPA press conference for his show When they see us, in which few in the room appeared to have watched the episodes, and others dropped off afterward to squeeze flesh, pose for selfies, and – unfathomably –present their scenarios. And now NBCUniversal has weighed in after a long silence, with executive vice president and chief diversity officer Craig Robinson telling the Los Angeles Times that they “take the issues seriously” and that they intend to use their influence to encourage the HFPA “to do what we believe to be the necessary changes”.

HFPA board pledges ‘at least 13% black membership’ after publicists threatened to urge customers not to show up to Golden Globes

And that’s a certain influence. Despite the drop in ratings, the fees that NBCUniversal pays for the rights to broadcast the Globes have skyrocketed in recent years, to $ 60 million a year through 2026, from $ 21 million in 2018, according to the report from the Times. It’s that money that pays for the HFPA’s performative charitable giving, much of which, according to reports, to its own members in the form of endless lucrative committees and breathtaking feature articles for its own website. The HFPA responded to the letter from the publicists by outlining its plan to hire a diversity expert and increase its membership to 100 by adding 13 black journalists to its roster.

In its response, the HFPA followed a familiar manual: pick one main issue and commit to doing better. But he has been committed to doing better for years. As early as 1958, former president Henry Gris resigned from the organization alleging that “certain rewards are given more or less as favors”. The FTC intervened in 1968, claiming that the group had “misled the public as to how the winners were determined,” and NBC went dark in the series until after 1974. Yet in 1982, the name Pia Zadora became forever linked to the Globes when she won an award after her wealthy husband sent members to Las Vegas. And the trips and the giveaways continue, with new avenues found to keep the gravy train moving. Even this year, reviews revolved around a trip to France in support of Emily in Paris, which resulted in two nominations.

When Brendan Fraser resurfaced a sexual harassment complaint in 2003, his response to former President Philip Berk’s defense – released as recently as 2018 – included this surprisingly contradictory sentence about an independent investigation he ordered: ‘Although it was concluded that Mr. Berk inappropriately touched Mr.. Fraser, the evidence confirms that it was meant to be viewed as a joke, not sexual advancement. And yet, in 2014, Berk was ordered to take a six-month leave after publishing a memoir in which he disparaged certain members of the group, as well as stars who had passed through the events of the HFPA. How’s that for a double standard?

There are many other examples of the band’s Teflon-like ability to deflect criticism, exercising only the minimum amount of recognition needed to bypass and live to see another Beverly Hilton Ballroom. And times when its broadcast partners have leaned, often behind closed doors, to keep the show on the safe side of the property. But the HFPA’s critical error in responding to the barrage of criticism it has faced this time around is its abject failure so far to directly address the other allegations, such as financial malfeasance, campaign practices and legitimacy. of its governance team and its members.

It’s worth wondering how one of the skilled black journalists the group intends to approach about becoming a member of an organization that is only looking to fix its optics will feel. But NBCUniversal’s comments indicate that the pressure they exert goes beyond diversity, and it is high time the HFPA took responsibility for reviewing its ethical standards at all levels. There are clearly plenty of upstanding and upstanding journalists among the HFPA members who have been urging the organization’s leaders to mobilize well before this year’s series of reports begins to erupt, although few of them were brave enough to speak publicly, and it is time for their voices to be heard. were heard.

It’s also not as if the Globes are even the nadir of movie awards activity – there are plenty of well-attended shows that will happily strike a plaque at an A-lister in exchange for a check. and a promise to come forward to get it back. , and no one alleges such extreme cynicism from the HFPA. The difference is that none of them can claim a prime spot on network television.

Crucially, however, there are also plenty of organizations with already much more diverse memberships and high ethical standards ready to take the crown of the Globes as soon as NBCUniversal decides to snatch it from them. It’s an existential fight that the HFPA simply won’t win as long as its organizational leaders keep their heads in the sand.

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