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HFPA Says It Will ‘Implement an Action Plan’ to Recruit Black Members

Michael Buckner/Variety/Shutterstock

Three days before this year’s Golden Globes Awards is set to take place, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is responding to criticism that it has failed to cultivate an inclusive and diverse membership body. Most notably, as detailed in a scathing exposé last Sunday by the Los Angeles Times, the org does not have a single Black member.

“We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them,” the HFPA said in a statement on Thursday. “We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for the HFPA pointed out that all journalists from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds based in Southern California who write for international media can apply, and also noted that the group’s membership is majority female, with 35% of its members from non-European countries. The HFPA is also looking at potentially changing its rules to widen its pool of applicants.

According to the Times report, the HFPA currently counts 87 members, but none of the journalists are Black. The org has been frequently slammed for its woeful underrepresentation of Black Golden Globes nominees — this year, for example, the fact that critically acclaimed Michaela Coel series “I May Destroy You” was completely snubbed by the HFPA was a sign that the org still has a way to go in inclusion.

The Times reported that the 87-member group has limited its membership for many years in part due to concerns over competition. The HFPA has several members of color, but no Black members.

The Times had also highlighted the org’s growing practice of paying high fees to many of its 87 members for various tasks, including serving on committees and moderating panels, has raised eyebrows both in and out of the HFPA.

Variety's Michael Schneider contributed to this post.

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