Wednesday, October 20, 2021

HFPA Partners with NAACP After Golden Globes Diversity Controversy

The embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association has teamed with the NAACP on a 5-year partnership aimed at tackling issues of diversity and equity across the entertainment industry.

The HFPA is a group of journalists who conduct the annual Golden Globe Awards. Over the years, the group has been criticized for not watching Black films, not acknowledging Black actors and content creators, and taking bribes from studios. We reported earlier that the 2022 Golden Globes ceremony is still set to air next year, you just won’t be able to watch it on NBC.

The network announced in May that it will not air the Golden Globes in 2022 amid the fallout over the org’s membership and processes.

“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” NBC said in a statement, as reported by Variety. “However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”

READ MORE: NBC Drops 2022 Golden Globes Ceremony Amid Fallout Over Membership and Voting Process

Per Variety, NBC execs have been waiting on the HFPA to reveal a full plan on how to reform the organization, following backlash over a report by the Los Angeles Times that the group does not have a single Black member. The HFPA now claims it will make significant changes, with plans to include people from “underrepresented groups” to the exclusive group of journalists. However, its primary focus is on recruiting Black members.

The outlet writes, “NBC execs were concerned that the HFPA hadn’t set a timeline for change, and the network had seen no movement on how it might rethink its membership goals.”

Under the new partnership between the HFPA and the NAACP, “executives at the HFPA will hold monthly meetings with the NAACP to review progress on its diversity initiatives, which will include supporting scholarships, internships and mentorship for people of color who want to pursue careers in entertainment and journalism and holding a series of roundtable discussions around issues of inclusion,” the LA Times writes. 

“We have not only worked to reimagine our structure at the HFPA, but also our role as an association — using our platform to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry,” HFPA President Helen Hoehne said in a statement. “This collaboration is so much more than reform; this is an opportunity to make long lasting change on a global scale. We’re honored that NAACP Hollywood shares this long-term vision with us, and we encourage all of our partners in the industry to join us in tackling these issues head on.”

Golden Globes trophies

The collaboration will also see the restoration and preservation of Black films, including the NAACP’s own archives, per the report. 

“This partnership — over five years — is a signal to the industry that we’re not interested in short term fixes — we’re committed to changing the narrative and tackling disparities in the industry from every angle,” NAACP President and Chief Executive Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “Over the next several years through this partnership, we can build pathways to inclusion to support future generations of Black artists and artists of color. We can’t wait to get to work.”

The partnership will also foster connections with the Nigerian film industry and filmmakers of the African diaspora.

“The NAACP applauds our advocacy allies for pressing HFPA to commit to internal reforms, and we now welcome HFPA as a partner in the larger agenda to realize equity and inclusion throughout Hollywood,” Kyle Bowser, senior vice president of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau, said in a statement. “The emerging spirit of racial reckoning must move beyond the convenience of condemning individual transgressors, toward a collective will to redesign the ecosystem that has nurtured a legacy of systemic discrimination and oppression.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.



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