LOS ANGELES – For months, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the struggling nonprofit behind the big-money Golden Globe Awards, struggled over how to reform following outcry over the loopholes financial, ethical and diversity issues and NBC’s cancellation of next year’s Globes television show.
Part of the challenge: Sections of the entertainment industry – and a few HFPA members, two of whom have resigned in protest in recent weeks – have deemed the “transformational” changes proposed by the board of directors insufficient of the group. A particular point of contention has been inclusion; the group currently has around 80 members, none of whom are black.
On Wednesday, an expanded reform plan was presented to members of the organization for consideration.
Todd Boehly, chairman of Eldridge Industries, a holding group with assets that include Dick Clark Productions, the producer of the Golden Globes for decades, presented the complex plan on Zoom. Its main components involve the rapid addition of 50 voter journalists to the current group of around 80, with an emphasis on diversity; the creation of a for-profit spin-off of the Golden Globes in partnership with Eldridge that would be led by a 15-member board of directors; and stricter and more transparent requirements for re-accreditation as a member of the HFPA, which must be carried out annually.
Jesse Collins, a producer whose award credits include the Oscars, BET Awards and Grammys, and who will produce the upcoming American Music Awards, a production of Dick Clark, has agreed to work with Eldridge to advance reform of the HFPA. “This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a real change,” Collins said in an email.
Eldridge got involved because the Golden Globes represent tens of millions of dollars in revenue for Dick Clark Productions. Eldridge wants to set the Golden Globes up for long-term stability and even growth – perhaps by expanding overseas to produce local versions of the show or perhaps turning the flagship ceremony into a celebrity event. several days. If the organization moves quickly enough (a long shot given its recent internal feuds), Eldridge even believes the 2022 Golden Globes could be saved.
“While we recognize that this is ultimately a decision to join the HFPA, we look forward to investing time and resources to ensure that essential reforms – prioritizing inclusion, transparency and governance – are implemented, creating meaningful change and lasting long-term success, ”Eldridge said in a statement.
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The HFPA is expected to vote later this summer on various reform proposals. The organization needs a two-thirds majority vote to change its constitution.
In the meantime, those in Hollywood who are pressuring the HFPA to reform – stars, publicists, filmmakers, showmakers – will no doubt consider the fine print of Eldridge’s proposal and weigh in. It is not known, for example, how the voter expansion plan will be received.
Eldridge’s suggestion of 50 more voters would represent a 63 percent increase. But those voters would not become members, at least not immediately. This means that they would not receive the same financial compensation as the current members, who would become employees, with continuing tenures, of the new for-profit company, and would have responsibilities that include the production of content that can be used to promote. the Globes. (A nonprofit HFPA arm would also continue to exist, with responsibilities that include charitable giving; the organization says it has donated $ 45 million in the past 28 years. On Wednesday, Mr Boehly said proposed that the charity expand its mission, including endowing journalism chairs at one or more historically black colleges and universities.)
The Foreign Press Association has been under fire since February, when a high-profile Los Angeles Times article revealed, among other things, that the group had no black members, had more than 50 million dollars in cash at the end of October, and paid large sums to members for serving on committees. Since then, the newspaper has continued to scrutinize the organization, publishing more than 40 articles on its issues and the latest Globes.
During the Globes telecast on February 28, members of the foreign press association pledged to diversify the group. A series of changes were announced in early May. They included increasing the number of group members by 50 percent over the next year and a half and hiring diversity consultants (those originally hired to do the job resigned in protest). They also said they planned to hire a research firm to seek out potential candidates to lead the group and had retained a law firm to help implement the reforms.
But Hollywood – long willing to turn a blind eye to the group’s problematic inner workings – has backed down. Netflix has said it will not be working with the organization unless further changes are made. Amazon and WarnerMedia have said the same. Scarlett Johansson said in a statement that the organization’s press conferences “bordered on sexual harassment,” and Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globe trophies. A group of more than 100 advertising agencies that serve the entertainment industry have vowed a boycott.
All of that, and the knowledge that ratings for the February show fell sharply, prompted NBC to cancel the organization’s 2022 awards.
“We continue to believe that the HFPA is engaged in meaningful reform,” the network said at the time. “However, a change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we are convinced that the HFPA needs time to get it right.”