The board of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association pledged on Monday to admit at least 13 Black members, following an outcry of the organization’s lack of diversity.
The club of 87 foreign journalists who annually bestow Golden Globe Awards committed to grow to at least 100 members, of which 13% will be Black. The move comes just as a group of Hollywood publicists sent a letter advising clients to avoid HFPA events until the group outlined a plan to change. The 13% target matches the Black share of the U.S. population, and the organization risks being unable to hold the Golden Globe Awards if it fails to address the issue to the industry’s satisfaction.
In a statement on Monday night, the HFPA board committed itself to “making necessary changes within our organization and in our industry as a whole.”
“We also acknowledge that we should have done more, and sooner,” the group said. “As a demonstration of our commitment, the board has unanimously approved a plan to increase membership to a minimum of 100 members this year, with a requirement that at least 13 percent of the membership be Black journalists.”
Time’s Up released a statement commending the publicists for holding the HFPA accountable, saying: “We are proud to be in solidarity with the voices of over 100 Hollywood PR firms in calling for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to radically transform the Golden Globes. We agree that anything less than transparent, meaningful change will no longer be acceptable. The entire world is watching.”
The Los Angeles Times revealed in a story on Feb. 21 that the group has no Black members. The story also detailed allegations of cronyism and favor-trading. The group has long been accused of withholding membership to all but a handful of insiders, who are afforded access to Hollywood junkets.
In the wake of the story, the HFPA quickly pledged to recruit Black members, though it had not previously set a numerical goal. The organization also pointed out that 35% of the members come from non-European countries, and that a majority of the group is female.
In the statement on Monday, the group said it would also continue various other diversity efforts, including reaching out to advocacy groups, analyzing its policies and holding trainings on diversity, equity and inclusion.
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