Following a threat by more than 100 top Hollywood publicity firms to prevent stars from attending Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) events or interviews, the group behind the Golden Globes has announced plans to add at least 13 Black journalists to its membership ranks.
Variety reported the association’s board pledged Monday night to “making necessary changes within our organization and in our industry as a whole.”
The current membership of the association sits at 87 members — none of whom are Black. Despite years of complaints about the secretive group, the HFPA said it is now committed to meaningful change.
“We also acknowledge that we should have done more, and sooner,” the group said in a statement. “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.”
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During last month’s Golden Globe awards, which are put on by the HFPA, three members of the group addressed the diversity backlash on stage by saying, “Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.”
The HFPA announced a week and a half ago it was hiring an independent equity and inclusion consultant to help ramp up its diversity efforts.
The group has faced backlash since the Los Angeles Times published an exposé on the organization last month. The article revealed none of the group’s current 87 members were Black and of the international journalists in the group, “relatively few” work full time for major overseas outlets.
The article reiterated the “scandal-ridden history” of the HFPA, and questioned the group’s ethics.
Public outcry after the LA Times article reached a peak leading up to the Golden Globes telecast on Feb. 28.