Stars like Sterling K. Brown and Kerry Washington are speaking up about the lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ranks, namely the fact that the organization does not currently have a single Black member.
This wave of criticism comes ahead of Sunday’s 78th Annual Golden Globes ceremony. HFPA board chair Meher Tatna told Variety Friday that the organization of international journalists has not had any Black members in at least 20 years.
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On Friday afternoon, #TimesUp posted an image of a cracked Golden Globe statue to social media, featuring the message, “Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Not a single Black member out of 87.” The organization captioned the post, “A cosmetic fix isn’t enough,” and the added hashtag “#TimesUpGlobes.”
Washington, Jurnee Smollett, Amy Schumer, Sean Hayes, Simon Pegg, DeVon Franklin, America Ferrera, Courtney Kemp, Tom Verica, Busy Phillips, Dakota Johnson, Patton Oswalt, Laura Dern and Alyssa Milano were among the celebs to repost the image and caption. Ellen Barkin asked, “What price HFPA?” in her post. Rashida Jones took to her Instagram story, adding, “Representation Matters. A cosmetic fix isn’t gonna cut it.”
“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” actor Amber Tamblyn wrote in her Instagram post: “The complete exclusion of Black women and Black people in general from the entire membership of the HFPA which votes for The Golden Globes is unacceptable. We call on one of our country’s biggest and brightest award show ceremonies to ensure the future of the Golden Globes’ leadership represents the content, culture, and creative work of women of ALL kinds, not just white women, and of Black voices in general, both as nominees and as members instrumental in the nominating process. A cosmetic fix just isn’t enough. The world is watching.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” director Olivia Wilde chimed in on Instagram, saying: “Truly absurd. I support and celebrate all the GG nominees, and their hard work for their craft, but when it comes to this institution, it’s time for the HFPA to commit to some deep, structural evolution.”
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who became the first Black woman nominated for Best Director by the HFPA in 2015, captioned her post, “Old news. New energy.” DuVernay also retweeted a 2017 post from Jada Pinkett Smith, who had posted, “I have so much to say on why [her ‘Girls Trip’ co-star] Tiffany Haddish was not nominated for a Globe…but I wont.”
Viola Davis, who is nominated for a Golden Globe this year for her performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” shared a quote from author Shannon L. Adler with her post: “Telling the world you’re trying is not doing.”
“The journey of a Black artist is littered with obstacles in creating, developing and being acknowledged for our work,” Davis added. “If we continue to keep silent, the younger generation of artists will have the exact same load to carry. No more excuses.”
Other prolific creators speaking up include Damon Lindelof, J.J. Abrams (and his Bad Robot company) and Shonda Rhimes, who wrote, “Enough is enough” in her post. Judd Apatow added, “So many crazy things about the @goldenglobes and the Hollywood Foreign press but this is awful.”
“Never Have I Ever” star Poorna Jagannathan pointed out the fact that HBO’s “I May Destroy You” didn’t receive any nominations in her post.
“If you, like me, found it incomprehensible that @imaydestroyyou wasn’t nominated for a single Globe, now you know why,” Jagannathan wrote. “I’ve lost so much respect for #hfpa and until they change drastically, they hold zero credibility.”
“Love & Basketball” and “The Old Guard” filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood reposted the image with additional sentiment, writing, “No excuses (there are none). No apologies (we don’t believe you). No empty gestures (cosmetic fixes are not enough). Change the game.”
Brown, a Golden Globe winner and two-time nominee, posted a different photo to Instagram, writing a lengthy and thoughtful caption.
“To be nominated for a Golden Globe is a tremendous honor. To win one is a dream come true. It can affect the trajectory of an individual’s career…it certainly has with mine,” Brown began.
“I’m presenting at the telecast this weekend to honor all the story tellers, especially those of color, who have achieved this extraordinary moment in their careers…AND I have my criticisms of the #HFPA,” he continued. “87 people wield a tremendous amount of power. For any governing body of a current Hollywood award show to have such a lack of voting representation illustrates a level of irresponsibility that should not be ignored.”
“With the power you have HFPA, you simultaneously hold a responsibility to ensure your constituency is fully reflective of the world in which we live,” the actor concluded. “When you know better, you must do better. And having a multitude of Black presenters does not absolve you of your lack of diversity. This is your moment to do the right thing. It is my hope that you will.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association posted a statement in response to the criticism: “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. 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.”
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