On Monday evening, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association put their membership where their mouth is and pledged to increase the percentage of Black HFPA members from zero to at least 13 percent by next year. The announcement came on the heels of an open letter from over 100 PR firms published earlier Monday evening, demanding the organization “manifest profound and lasting change” to counteract “discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption” within HFPA. If not, the firms said, they will withdraw access to their clients until concrete change is made.
“In the last decade, our industry has faced a seismic reckoning and begun to address its failure to reflect and honor the diversity of our community, yet we have witnessed no acceptance of responsibility, accountability or action from the HFPA, even as systemic inequity and egregious behavior are allowed to continue,” the firms’ letter, addressed to HFPA’s higher-ups and published by The Hollywood Reporter, reads in part. “To reflect how urgent and necessary we feel this work is, we cannot advocate for our clients to participate in HFPA events or interviews as we await your explicit plans and timeline for transformational change.”
“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association reiterates that we are committed to making necessary changes within our organization and in our industry as a whole,” the 87-member organization said in their response, which you can also read at The Hollywood Reporter. “We also acknowledge that we should have done more, and sooner. 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.”
HFPA also laid out a number of other pledges, including analyzing their member selection process, facilitating bias training for existing members, partnering with advocacy groups to help with reforms, and creating a transparent system to hold the organization accountable to their goals, i.e., making sure they actually fix all that stuff their Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler ripped them for just last month.