The Hollywood Foreign Press Association hasn't had any Black members in nearly 2 decades, former Golden Globes president says
- Variety reported that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hasn't had any Black members in nearly two decades.
- The Los Angeles Times reported that none of its 87 current members are Black.
- The HFPA was criticized for not assembling an inclusive organization ahead of the Golden Globes.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the annual Golden Globe Awards, reportedly hasn't had a single Black member in nearly two decades.
The criticism and subsequent fallout surrounding the HFPA continued to broil on Sunday, just hours before the 78th Golden Globe Awards will premiere at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.
Earlier this week, Los Angeles Times reported that there are no Black journalists among its 87-person membership. The organization, which recruits journalists internationally, is responsible for deciding who will receive an award each year.
And according to Variety, the HFPA hasn't had a Black member since at least 2002.
Former HFPA president and board member Meher Tatna addressed the criticism in an interview with Variety.
"As a person of color, it's important to me," Tatna, a Mumbai-born journalist, said. "It's just there are nuances, as an organization of immigrants, who write for our home country, that search [for international Black journalists] has not been easy, but that doesn't mean we will give up. We will keep trying, and we will be part of the solution."
Tatna later admitted that she couldn't recall the group's last Black member or who it was.
"It was before my time, but I don't remember what country he came from," said Tatna, who joined the HFPA in 2002.
A spokesperson for the HFPA told Variety that the last Black member was from Belize but did not provide membership dates.
The HFPA on Friday addressed the criticism in a statement that promised to promote and recruit more diversity.
"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 organization wrote. "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."
The HFPA also faced accusations that votes are easily influenced and new members are barred from joining the organization.
Husam Asi, BBC Cinematic presenter, based in LA and a HFPA member, denied the allegations to Sky News, saying the criticism "mostly stems from jealousy."
Some celebrities and #TimesUp have called out the HFPA over the new reports
Following the outcry, Time's Up, a group fighting sexual harassment in the workplace, called for more diversity and representation on social media.
"A cosmetic fix isn't enough," the advocacy group wrote in an Instagram post. An accompanying photo featured a cracked Golden Globe award.
The post was shared by several celebrities, including Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Alyssa Milano, and Ava DuVernay.
The LA Times report noted that lack of diversity is reflected in this year's Golden Globes snubs, including Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods."
—Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) February 27, 2021
"They are so used to getting their a----- kissed because people want trophies ...but looks like your #timesup," wrote actress Ellen Pompeo.
"Why do we need them? Oh that's right we don't," she added.
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