The Golden Globes had a near-death experience last year. NBC, which had broadcast the Globes every year but one since 1996 (a WGA strike kept the show off the air in 2008) declined to air the show in the wake of a fierce backlash by various media companies, actors and other creatives over a lack of diversity in the organization.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) held the presentation privately, with the results announced via press release and on the Golden Globe Awards’ social media pages – a humbling fall-from-grace for a show that was long one of the top-rated and most entertaining awards shows on the awards calendar.
The crisis stemmed from a report in The Los Angeles Times that revealed that the organization didn’t include a single Black voting member. The organization has since made efforts to boost the diversity of its voting body. The host, Jerrod Carmichael, and executive producer, Jesse Collins, of the Jan. 10, 2023, Golden Globes are both Black – an obvious effort on the HFPA’s part to show that it has gotten the message about the need for diversity.
The HFPA went to the extraordinary length of including a list of “HFPA Reforms” in the press materials it distributed along with this year’s nominations. So, in addition to the usual fare — lists of movies, TV shows and distributors that had the most nominations; a list of 41 performers who received their first Globe nominations this year; and a half-dozen fun factoids about various nominees, the HFPA released the following summary of changes it has made to address the controversies that took the show off the air last year and put is future in doubt.
Here is their report, in full:
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has answered the call for change by restructuring the organization in order to address institutional and systemic concerns. This has allowed the Association to increase diversity, transparency, and accountability on its journey of transformational change. These accomplishments are by no means final; they are fluid and adaptable. As the Association continues its work, it invites participation from its partners as an important component of this growth. A key goal of the HFPA continues to be the creation of an environment where more journalists from diverse backgrounds will want to participate and where members are held accountable for their behavior, both within the organization and as professionals in the industry.
Membership & Diversity
People of color are represented in decision-making throughout the organization. The board of directors currently has three Black members, increasing the overall diversity of the Board to 40% people of color and 67% female. A chief diversity officer oversees the DEI efforts of the HFPA.
The voting body doubled in size with the addition of 103 new voters recruited from international industry organizations. The new voters are composed of 22.3% Latinx, 13.6% Black, 11.7% Asian, 10.7% Middle Eastern, and 41.7% White, with 58.3% self-identifying as ethnically diverse.
Combined with the current HFPA membership, the total Golden Globe Awards voting body is 52% female, 51.5% racially and ethnically diverse with 19.5% Latinx, 12% Asian, 10% Black and 10% Middle Eastern, making it the most diverse major award[‘s body] in Hollywood. The total number of voters is now 200 and includes individuals who self-identify as LGBTQIA+.
Geographically, the voters represent 62 countries around the world.
NAACP has been working closely with the HFPA aiming to increase diverse representation throughout the industry, including the launch of the Reimagine Coalition.
Ethics & Safety Protections
The HFPA adopted new policies to eliminate ethical conflicts:
New grievance process involves a confidential reporting hotline managed by two independent outside law firms that investigate any complaints and recommend any disciplinary action to the CEO and the Board. New bylaws provide for a variety of sanctions, including suspension, termination, expulsion, or additional compulsory education and training. All members must attend mandatory DEI training sessions.
As part of the code of conduct governing ethical behavior, members are required to act with appropriate decorum, respect and professionalism and will be subject to disciplinary review if grievances are reported. All voters must sign an annual code of conduct.
A universal gift ban, eliminating any gifts provided by any publicist, agent, talent, management, studio, production company, media outlet, awards consultant, network or streamer. Modified travel policies to eliminate paid air travel by studios.
All HFPA members are subject to a mandatory annual reaccreditation process overseen by a Credentials Committee composed of a majority of external industry advisors.
In order to focus on the upcoming historic 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards, the HFPA opted to eliminate HFPA-exclusive press conferences this year to support the viewing of eligible content by the newly expanded voter base, including international voters for the first time.