“While the HFPA’s ranks include a number of people of color, there are no Black members, a fact a representative says the group is aware of and is ‘committed to addressing.'” – from a 2.21 L.A. Times article by Josh Rottenberg and Stacy Perman titled “Who really gives out the Golden Globes? A tiny group full of quirky characters — and no Black members.” **
“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which has a reputation for making occasionally head-scratching choices when picking Globes nominees and winners, has faced further criticism for this year’s slate of nominations, which did not include several Black-led Oscar contenders such as Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Judas and the Black Messiah in the nominees for the group’s top award.” — from another Perman-Rottenberg 2.21 article, this one titled “Golden Globes voters in tumult: Members accuse Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. of self-dealing, ethical lapses.”
Everyone understands the current system of check-list requirements when it comes to major org memberships and the big awards shows, which is why it’s perplexing that the HFPA doesn’t just wise up and play along.
HE especially believes that Shaka King‘s Sidney Lumet-like Judas and the Black Messiah completely merited a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture, Drama, and that Lakeith Stanfield‘s performance as the traitorous Bill O’Neal — far more mesmerizing and penetrating than Daniel Kaluuya‘s Fred Hampton — should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
And I’m still lamenting the absence of Steve McQueen‘s Mangrove — easily the finest feature film of 2020, but wrongly lumped into Emmy contention because it was originally offered on British TV last November as part of a five-part anthology called Small Axe.
“It seems the organization could address multiple concerns about its current composition — among the lifetime members is at least one who is legally blind — by taking a page out of the film Academy’s book and significantly expanding its membership to include people who are more active and legitimate. But to make it possible for such people to join the organization, the HFPA would also have to reform its ethics rules, and it is a big question mark if it would be willing to do so.
“Alternatively, studios, networks and talent could band together and boycott the Globes until things change — but it seems unlikely that anyone would want to risk being identified as the organizer of such a movement in case it fails to yield results.
“At the end of the day, it will probably once again fall upon the HFPA’s broadcasting partner for the Globes, currently NBC, to decide whether or not all of this behavior and attention is so bad that it needs to take action. I haven’t been able to obtain a copy of the broadcasting deal that was signed in 2018, but I suspect that NBC must have an out if it wants one — or wants to use one as a threat to demand change. Because without TV money, the HFPA would be cooked.
“I, for one, want only the best for all of my fellow journalists, both inside and outside of the HFPA — but I also want all of my fellow journalists to behave in a manner befitting our profession. Now, more than ever, we don’t need to give people a reason to dismiss us as ‘fake news.'”
** Sharon Waxman said the exact same thing about the HFPA having no African American members in Vikram Jayanti‘s “The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret” (’03). She says it around the 41:25 mark.