The “new HFPA” is ready to relaunch the Golden Globes. Hollywood is skeptical.

Changing the way the team is managed and rethinking how members are selected are top priorities. The HFPA has long been seen as a group of international journalists with a large amount of unbridled power that selects Golden Globe winners and benefits from paid positions on nonprofit committees. This year, the team brought a external consultant and external advisors throughout the organization. Updated laws has expanded the admission criteria and all current members must sign a behavior rules including a commitment to anti-harassment and non-discrimination and a disciplinary process for those who break the rules.

Jeff Harris, one of the new independent HFPA board members and a former executive director of the nonprofit organization focused on racial justice, says he sees his role as someone who can “really keep responsible organization. To make sure they don’t just pay for lip service. ” Along the way, he said, “there have been some accusatory conversations, even at the board level. You know, you have a bunch of people coming from all sorts of different countries, and no Not everyone can agree on everything. But the general momentum of where we’re going is to really grow this organization.”

During an internal soul search, HFPA reached out to the NAACP (among other groups) for a response. Kyle Bowser of NAACP’s Hollywood office agreed to work with the group. Under the banner of the “Reimagine Alliance” they are discussing a number of possible projects, including scholarships, mentoring and a Nigerian film festival. Rather than being intimately involved with HFPA’s internal reforms, the NAACP “seeks to recruit them to join our effort to reform the broader ecosystem of the industry,” he said. “We felt that HFPA could be a case study — a template, if you will, by which the rest of the industry could take notice and make their own adjustments.”

Can HFPA really act as a beacon of light for the rest of hypocritical Hollywood?

“This problem is much bigger than the Hollywood Foreign Press,” said Kelley Carter, a senior entertainment writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated and one of six new Black members of the HFPA. “There are people who come to the allyship and are very vocal about what is happening in HFPA,” she said of performers who have criticized the group. “And I thought, You never said yes to sit down and interview with I—I am one of the few black female journalists [in Hollywood], and you turn it down every time a big movie comes out. “

Prior to joining, Carter, who served as president of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Arts and Entertainment Task Force, was annoyed with the suggestion that the HFPA could not find any qualified candidates of color. She also worries that she might be run away for publicity or that her presence might feel effective. “I don’t want to look like a sacrificial black sheep,” she said, laughing.

“My grandmother used to say that I was the fly in the buttermilk – like a black speck in this white sea. I was always put in positions where I had to educate and inform people of the difference,” she continued. Joining HFPA, “I knew I was going to have to join and maybe sometimes become a teacher or an educator.” But Carter believes the presence of new members will make a huge difference—“not only being able to vote for [awards] but also conversations that we can have with voters who have been in HFPA for many years.… That could lead to the development that I think people are looking for. ”

When I asked Hoehne about past incidents of racism in the group, she said, “Look, we can’t change the past. We can only change the present and the future, and we are certainly doing everything in our power to become more inclusive.” She said the group will learn from new members—“see things differently, become more open”—and note that HFPA plans to attract more new members next year, bringing its total. about 125 people.

This does not meet the requirements of the coalition pushing for reform, which suggests 300 is a good number to represent global diversity. They also asked for a raise in membership criteria, as some long-time members appear to no longer practice journalism and have been known to act more like signature hounds or insult comics than other members of the public. professional reporter. (Current members just show eight paid journalistic works in the last two years.)

Hoehne says the new laws allow for the discipline of any bad behavior; they also include a confidential hotline complaint reporting process. But the public Marcel Pariseau, whose client list includes Scarlett Johansson, had a recent experience that made him skeptical. The organization’s new regulations include a ban on HFPA-derived materials and recycling of old materials. But Pariseau viewed a recent HFPA member’s story about Johansson framed as if it were a face-to-face interview about Johansson. Black Widow, when in fact it was pieced together from past articles and press conferences. “I called the HFPA about it and said, ‘This is bogus. This did not happen. His email complaint was not kept confidential because it was not reported through the official hotline, and according to Pariseau, the violator is still a member.

For his part, Hoehne argues that the industry is unfairly boycotting HFPA. “We haven’t had an interview since February and it’s been very difficult for us,” she said, especially in the increasingly challenging media landscape. “I feel like from our side, we’ve done pretty much everything that we’ve said we’re going to do to reform the press conferences to make them more inclusive, have the etiquette around them. they, even have sensitivity training, when it comes to the questions being asked. However, we don’t actually get anything in return from the publishers. “

An unfriendly veteran publicist: “These people have an overwhelming amount of power, and they abuse it.” There are great, legit journalists in the HFPA, but with so many questionable members left on the team, “how can we look our clients in the eye and say, ‘Is it safe to do so? back in that room? “” Despite this, journalists I interviewed say that there is no comprehensive ban on access to film screenings and interviews for HFPA members; they are taking requests on an individual basis, just like they would from any journalist. One of the new black members, KJ Matthews, confirmed, “I am still granted access to certain movies and certain events. I haven’t crossed any hurdles so far. (Matthews is a former CNN entertainment reporter and now a regular contributor to Deutsche Welle’s English-language television network, the BBC World Service and Ireland’s RTÉ.) The “new HFPA” is ready to relaunch the Golden Globes. Hollywood is skeptical.


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