Golden Globes make diversity pledge after backlash

It is adding at least 13 Black members

Organisers of the Golden Globes have pledged to increase diversity by making sure at least 13 per cent of its membership is Black.

It comes after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was the subject of an exposé by the LA Times ahead of this year’s ceremony, which took place last month (February 28).

The committee behind the awards pledged “transformational change” earlier this month after it was revealed that there hadn’t been a Black member of the HFPA for decades, as well as alleged corrupt behaviour from the board.

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The HFPA went on to list “immediate action items” that would lead to that change, including “hiring an independent expert in organisational diversity, equity and inclusion to advise and guide us”, putting a “specific focus” on adding Black and “other underrepresented professionals” to the group and “hiring a third-party, independent law firm to review the HFPA policies”.

Golden Globes. CREDIT: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

The HFPA has now said it would add a minimum of 13 Black members, increasing the total membership to at least 100, according to Variety.

In a statement, the HFPA board committed itself to “making necessary changes within our organisation and in our industry as a whole.”

“We also acknowledge that we should have done more, and sooner,” the group said. “As a demonstration of our commitment, the board has unanimously approved a plan to increase membership to a minimum of 100 members this year, with a requirement that at least 13 percent of the membership be Black journalists.”

Industry figures previously criticised the HFPA’s suggestion that its own board will be in charge of changes. “So, the board is gonna oversee its own reform?” Ava DuVernay tweeted. “Same board that oversees and benefits from the current practices and has knowingly perpetuated the HFPA’s corrupt dealings and racial inequity for decades? Got it.”

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In a statement, Time’s Up president and CEO Tina Tchen also called for the board to go further. “So NBCUniversal, Dick Clark Productions, and the HFPA just declared that they have a plan to fix problems they’ve ignored for decades,” she recently said.

“We’re not so sure. On behalf of the many artists who look to us to hold the HFPA’s feet to the fire on the racism, disrespect, misogyny, and alleged corrupt financial dealings of the Golden Globes, we need to see specific details, timetables for change, and firm commitments. The right words are not enough. The clock is ticking.”

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