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Publicists lobby HFPA for lack of black members; Threatening to Withhold Golden Globes Customers – Deadline

UPDATE with HFPA response: In a letter to HFPA COO Greg Goecker and Chairman of the Board Meher Tatna, a collective of Hollywood publicists today warned the group that it had better make meaningful changes, or risk them telling their star clients to stay away from the Golden Globes.

HFPA’s board of directors issued a lengthy statement in response, which says in part that the group is “committed to making the necessary changes within our organization and in our industry as a whole.” We also recognize that we should have done more, and sooner. Read the full statement below.

The HFPA, ever the most credible organization, is usually the subject of an exhibition every few years. This year has been a doozy, with the LA Times revealing that the group didn’t have a single black member, and that it subsidized the paltry incomes of voting “journalists” by paying them to sit on committees. While HFPA leaders have repeatedly pledged to hear the criticism and change, there is skepticism. Times Up demanded that the board’s resignation be a good start for an overhaul. The pressure has even reached NBCUniversal and Comcast because the Globes are a prime-time show and line the pockets of the dubious organization. Members of the HFPA, who are not considered major journalistic voices but wield disproportionate influence over an awards ceremony whose timing makes it a stepping stone to the most worthy Oscar and Emmy races, have long since the negative reputation of being largely made up of freelancers looking for selfies. . Here is to make sure they become a more diverse group of these.

Besieged HFPA hires racial equity advisor + law firm to review policies and create ‘training against racism and unconscious bias’

Public relations firms sent the letter to the press.

Here is the letter from the publicists, followed by the response statement from the HFPA Board of Directors:

As publicists, we collectively represent the vast majority of artists in the entertainment industry.
We call on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to rapidly demonstrate profound and lasting change to eradicate the long-standing exclusionary ethos and pervasive practice of discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and financial corruption allegedly endemic to the HFPA, funded by Dick Clark Productions, MRC, NBCUniversal and Comcast.

Over the past decade our industry has faced a seismic toll and has begun to remedy its inability to reflect and honor the diversity of our community, but we have not witnessed any acceptance of responsibility, of the accountability or action of the HFPA, even as systemic inequity and blatant behavior. are allowed to continue. We collectively and unequivocally agree that transformative change in your organization and its historic practices is essential and fully achievable. We want to be part of the solution.

To reflect the urgency and necessity of this work, we cannot ask our clients to participate in HFPA events or talks while we wait for your explicit plans and timeline for transformational change.

While we stand ready to support your efforts in good faith, please know that any less transparent and meaningful change that respects and honors the diversity and dignity of our clients, their colleagues and our global audience will cause immediate and irreparable damage to society. relationship between our agencies, our clients and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and those who sanction the institutional inequity and island culture that currently defines it.

The eyes of the industry and those who support it are watching.
Respectfully,

42West
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Here is the statement from the HFPA Board of Directors:

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association reaffirms our commitment to making the necessary changes within our organization and our industry as a whole. We also recognize that we should have done more, and sooner. To demonstrate our commitment, the board unanimously approved a plan to increase membership to a minimum of 100 members this year, with a requirement that at least 13 percent of members be black journalists.

We are also continuing to work on the global initiatives announced last week. Our external legal advisor has already started work on how to effectively implement transformational changes in our organization, including a comprehensive review of our governance and code of conduct, and Dr. Shaun Harper, our new strategic advisor in diversity, has identified the following areas of work:

Analyze policies, practices, member recruitment activities and member selection processes through the lens of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DCI);
Facilitate 20 quarterly trainings over the next five years on DCI topics ranging from implicit and explicit biases to strategic membership diversification, evolving the Association with changing demographics, welcoming black members into an inclusive environment and ensuring equitable pathways to leadership for women members, to name a few;

Facilitate introductions to DCI’s potential strategic partner organizations in journalism and entertainment, and develop a strategy to maintain these mutually rewarding relationships for many years to come;

Conduct member interviews to solicit feedback on the development and strategic actualization of DCI’s objectives. Also collect qualitative insights from industry leaders on what they believe the Association needs to do to become more equitable, diverse and inclusive; and

Systematically assess and make transparent the Association’s annual progress on DCI goals and commitments.

We have also started to meet with various rights groups and racial partners to get their feedback and hear their views on further reforms that need to take place. While we recognize that this is a long-term process, we will continue to be transparent, provide updates and have confidence in our ability to change and restore confidence in our organization and the Golden Globes. In doing so, we invite other members of the Hollywood community to join us in advancing racial equity in our industry.

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