Two members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization that organizes the Golden Globes, have resigned, denouncing the organization as “toxic” in a letter obtained by the LA Times.
In their letter, Wenting Xu and Diederik van Hoogstraten declared that “staying within the association is no longer tenable for us”. They list a number of reasons, including that “the majority of members are resistant to fundamental change”, that new rules for better diversity have been “watered down”, and that “fear of retaliation, self-trafficking, corruption and verbal abuse ”are at the heart of the HFPA culture.
They added, “The HFPA continues to adapt to a toxic environment that undermines professional journalism. Intimidation of members by other members goes unchallenged and unpunished. Harassment of Talent and Publicists: Ditto… many members continue to believe that we are victims, an attitude that ensures that no self-reflection or change will occur.
Xu is a reporter for the New York-based trade publication World Screen, while Van Hoogstraten is a freelance producer and contributor for a number of Dutch outlets, including NRC Handelsblad and Het Financieele Dagblad, and is a former board member of administration of HFPA.
The HPFA has come under fire since the LA Times published an article on the eve of the 2021 Golden Globes, citing allegations of corruption and irregularity as well as the absence of black members. The organization was later hit with an industry boycott and the cancellation of the Globes 2022 television broadcast. Leading figures including Tom Cruise and Scarlett Johansson have been candid in their criticism. The HFPA has struggled to form a cohesive response, with its reform plans receiving further criticism from influential industry groups such as Time’s Up.
The LA Times reports that Xu and Van Hoogstraten have repeatedly complained to the HFPA, with a board member responding that Xu’s comments were a “hate campaign” and that she “was working … against us. “.
In their letter, Xu and Van Hoogstraten say they plan to build “a transparent, professional and inclusive organization for current and future generations of journalists.”