Two members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which oversees the Golden Globes, have resigned in protest at the organisation.
Wenting Xu and Diederik van Hoogstraten said in a letter (obtained by the LA Times) that the HFPA was “toxic”, which comes after an exposé earlier this year alleged corruption and lack of diversity in the association.
In their reasoning, the two claimed that the “majority of the membership resists deep change” and that new rules aimed at improving diversity had been “watered down to meet the demands of a majority of the current Board and many change-averse members”.
They also alleged that there was a culture of “insulation, silence, fear of retribution, self-dealing, corruption and verbal abuse”, adding: “The HFPA continues to accommodate a toxic environment that undermines professional journalism.
“The bullying of members by fellow members is left unquestioned and unpunished. The badgering of talent and publicists: ditto.”
Xu and van Hoogstraten went on to claim that there is “still significant resistance to welcoming a large and diverse class of new members”.
According to the LA Times report, the two have voiced their criticism on numerous occasions, with a board member responding by calling Xu’s comments a “hate campaign”.
Following the original LA Times exposé, the HFPA pledged “transformational change” after it was revealed that there hadn’t been a Black member for decades, as well as alleged corrupt behaviour from the board.
However, NBC announced that they would be dropping the Golden Globes broadcast in 2022. A number of stars have also reacted, with Tom Cruise returning his three Golden Globe in protest at the organisation.
Scarlett Johansson also alleged that she faced “sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment”.
“Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organisation,” she said, “I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”