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HFPA promises "transformational change" for Golden Globes, which at least sounds nice

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Image for article titled HFPA promises "transformational change" for Golden Globes, which at least sounds nice
Photo: Arturo Holmes (Getty Images)

We’re now in the brief 364-day window when people don’t really care about the Golden Globes, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—the organization in charge of running the Globes—is nonetheless making some promises about improving things going forward. For those who don’t recall, the lead-up to this year’s Golden Globes show involved various controversies, including accusations that the HFPA exists just to get special treatment from movie and TV studios (set off by what some saw as suspicious nominations for Netflix’s Emily In Paris, which did not end up winning anything) and the widespread realization (led by Time’s Up) that the organization has zero Black members. During the show itself, some high-ranking members of the HFPA took to the stage to acknowledge the controversies and offer vague promises to do better, but now it’s actually taking some public steps to address these shortcomings.

The HFPA posted about this on the Golden Globes Instagram page (via Variety), saying it is “committed to transformational change” and will be taking steps like “hiring an independent expert” to help “guard against any exclusionary practices,” “mandating annual anti-racism and unconscious bias education” for every member of the HFPA, “engaging in outreach with a specific focus” on adding Black members to the HFPA, working with a law firm to “ensure a robust process” for people to confidentially report violations of the group’s ethical standards, “improving our efforts to create transparency in our operations,” and increasing support for organizations that help Black people (and members of other underrepresented groups) who are interested in international journalism.


Unfortunately, these public steps seem a little too public (they were posted on Instagram, after all, which seems somewhat engineered just to garner “likes”), and a lot of them hinge on the HFPA tasking itself with being more inclusive and transparent. In other words, short of NBC (which airs the Globes) demanding that the HFPA actually make meaningful changes, the organization doesn’t have a whole lot of incentive to actually follow through on this stuff. As director Ava DuVernay (who helped boost the “zero Black members” fact ahead of the Golden Globes) notes, the HFPA board is “gonna oversee its own reform” even though it’s the “same board that oversees and benefits from the current practices.” Time’s Up also pointed out that the HFPA just suddenly put together a solution to “problems they’ve ignored for decades,” adding, “we’re not so sure.”