Golden Globes organisers preparing ‘action plan’ to recruit black members after diversity criticism

Written by on February 26, 2021

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) – the organisation behind the Golden Globes – says it is working on “an action plan” to recruit black members, after being criticised over its lack of diversity.

The voting body is made up of just 87 members, none of whom are black, according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times.

Michaela Coel as Arabella in I May Destroy You.
Pic: BBC/Various Artists Ltd and FALKNA/Natalie Seery
Image: Eyebrows were raised after I May Destroy You was snubbed.
Pic: BBC/Various Artists Ltd and FALKNA/Natalie Seery

The HFPA says it is now acting to address the diversity of the group, saying in a statement provided to Sky News: “We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them.

“We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for the HFPA also told Sky News the group welcomes applications for membership from “all ethnic and cultural backgrounds” and has not ruled out rule changes to “widen the pool of applicants” in the future.

The Times article also raised questions over the HFPA’s failure to recognise widely acclaimed black-led productions including I May Destroy You and Da 5 Bloods.

Suggesting a “culture of corruption”, the piece noted that members were flown to Paris by the Emily In Paris creators, and the show (which was derided by many critics) subsequently saw two nods (best television series and best actress in a TV series).

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The HFPA has refuted all such claims, telling Sky News that the notion that press set visits were behind the nominations was “absurd” and that such events are commonplace for entertainment journalists worldwide.

The group also highlighted that Emily In Paris had been nominated in the musical/comedy category, while I May Destroy You – the acclaimed drama by British actress and writer Michaela Coel – was entered as a limited series.

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Black actors in the running to take home awards from this year’s Golden Globes include the late Chadwick Boseman, who is favourite for best actor, and Viola Davis and Andra Day, who are up for best actress.

British star Daniel Kaluuya and Leslie Odom Jr are also up for best supporting actor.

This year’s hosts – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – will present separately from New York and Los Angeles respectively due to coronavirus social distancing restrictions.

Nominees are expected to appear remotely from locations around the world.

The 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 28 February, and air on NBC.

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