Scarlett Johansson has spoken out against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, joining a chorus of condemnation from actors, advocacy groups, and studios, including Netflix and Amazon, over the organization’s lack of diversity and transparency. “As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows,” Johansson said in a statement. “In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences.” Johansson continues, “The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition, and the industry followed suit. Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”
Johansson’s statement follows widespread criticism of the HFPA, including from her Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo, who said on Friday, “Honestly, as a recent winner of a Golden Globe, I cannot feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award.” Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos also announced on Friday that Netflix will not work with the HFPA until it tackles its “systemic diversity and inclusion challenges.” Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke followed suit, stating that Amazon Studios is “awaiting a sincere and significant resolution” before moving forward with the HFPA.
On Thursday, the HFPA responded to the growing backlash with reform proposals focusing on increasing membership to the organization, which currently has zero Black members. Response to the proposed reforms has been largely negative, with Time’s Up president Tina Tchen calling the proposals “window-dressing platitudes” and GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis saying the reforms “do not go far enough to ensure the organization as a place where historically marginalized communities — including the LGBTQ community — feel welcomed.” Ellis continued, “It’s not enough for the HFPA to just say that they are working towards having a certain number of Black members. It’s time for the HFPA and the Golden Globes to truly reflect the full intersectional diversity of Hollywood.”