The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small group of 87 international journalists that determine the nominees and winners of the Golden Globe Awards each year, has no Black members, according to a new report by the Los Angeles Times.
Published exactly a week before Sunday's 78th annual ceremony, the report claimed that the HFPA has several members of color, but no Black members. For many years, the group has allegedly limited its membership due to concerns over competition, the report also stated.
The HFPA has long come under fire for its questionable ethics and lack of diversity among its members.
After the 2021 Golden Globe nominees were announced earlier this month, many Black-led projects were viewed as snubs, including Spike Lee's critically acclaimed Vietnam war film Da 5 Bloods and the hit HBO series I May Destroy You. Both were critically acclaimed projects that received no nominations.
Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett, stars of HBO's Lovecraft Country, were both excluded from the honors, as was Uzo Aduba for FX's Mrs. America, despite winning best supporting actress in a limited series category at the Emmys last September.
In response to the lack of Black members, an HFPA representative told the LA Times that the group is aware of the issue and is "committed to addressing" it.
A second report from the LA Times, also published Sunday, claimed that the HFPA members receive lavish perks from the studios and networks whose projects HFPA members later write about and vote on. Citing an example, the report stated that in 2019, over 30 HFPA members flew to France to visit the set of Netflix's Emily In Paris. While there, the members were treated by Paramount Network to a two-night stay at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel and a news conference and lunch at the Musée des Arts Forains.
Despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics, Emily in Paris scored two Golden Globe nominations, one for the series itself and the second for star Lily Collins.
In addition, the LA Times report alleged that the HFPA pays its own members substantial amounts of money to serve as officers and on various committees. In the fiscal year ending in June 2020, the HFA members allegedly collected nearly $2 million in payments from the group.
In response to the second report, a representative for the group told the outlet, "We do not control the individual votes of our members. We seek to build cultural understanding through film and TV and recognize how the power of creative storytelling can educate people around the world to issues of race, representation, and orientation."
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Next week's Golden Globe Awards will take place virtually. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hosting from opposite coasts, while presenters include Kyra Sedgwick, Sterling K. Brown, Michael Douglas and more.
Jane Fonda will be the recipient of this year's Cecil B. DeMille Award, which recognizes a lifetime achievement in film. Previous honorees include Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.
The 78th annual Golden Globe Awards will air live on Feb. 28 starting at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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