The massive backlash against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—which presumably thought that it was pulling itself, and its Golden Globes awards ceremony, out of hot water with a new reform package it passed yesterday–has now progressed to the point that specific stars have started going after the 87-journalist body. Per Deadline, Marvel actors Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson have both gone on the offensive against the group this weekend, joining a rising series of voices that include Times Up, a coalition of more than 100 Hollywood PR firms, GLAAD, Amazon Studios, and Netflix.
“Honestly, as a recent winner of a Golden Globe, I cannot feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award,” Ruffalo said in a statement last night, referencing his win for last year’s I Know This Much Is True. “It’s discouraging,” Ruffalo added, “To see the HFPA, which has gained prominence and profited handsomely from their involvement with filmmakers and actors, resist the change that is being asked of them from many of the groups that have been most disenfranchised by their culture of secrecy and exclusion.” Ruffalo’s comments mirror those from Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and many others, pretty much all of whom have condemned the organization’s stated plan to expand its membership rolls over the next 18 months as too little, too late. (The HFPA came under heavy criticism earlier this year when a Los Angeles Times report highlighted the fact that, of the less than 100 journalists that make it up, not a single one was Black.)
Johansson, meanwhile, issued a call today to “step back” from the HFPA, calling it “an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition.” As with others, she highlighted the often uncomfortable press conferences that are typically required of anyone seeking Golden Globe recognition, noting that, “In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences.” (Johansson has been nominated by the Golden Globes five times, most recently for Marriage Story.)
Ali Sar, president of the HFPA, issued a statement of his own last night, responding to the Netflix letter with promises that the body is working to address its problems, and calling for an “open dialogue” rather than outright condemnation. None of which appears to have stemmed the tide of people speaking out about the group; it remains to be seen just how radically the Golden Globes will have to change themselves in order to make up for their past failings in the eyes of the numerous industry entities they need to stay on the right side of.