The Golden Globes’ host organization says it’s taking action to increase diversity in awards voting committee

Golden globe awards hfpa
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosts the Golden Globe Awards. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
  • The Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosts the Golden Globes and picks the winners.
  • A recent report from the LA Times said the HFPA doesn’t include any Black members.
  • The HFPA on Saturday promised “transformational change” to make its committee more inclusive.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group of Southern California journalists that hosts and picks the winners of the Golden Globe Awards, said in a statement Saturday that it’s taking “immediate action” to increase diversity in its organization.

A post shared by Golden Globes (@goldenglobes)

The statement said: “Our missions as a diverse group of journalists from more than 40 different countries has always been about covering entertainment and film, advancing the critical work of entertainment-related charities, and elevating future film and television professionals from all walks of life unified by their shared passion and love for film and television.”

“But we must and will do more,” the HFPA’s statement said.

The actions the organization is taking, as outlined in its statement, include “hiring an independent expert in organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion” to help “guard against any exclusionary practices and achieve a more diverse membership.”

The HFPA also says it’s “engaging in outreach with a specific focus on adding Black and other underrepresented professionals to our organization,” as well as “improving our efforts to create transparency into our operations, voting, processes, eligibility, and membership.”

Additionally, the organization said it plans to increase “support of internship, mentorship, and scholarship programs for Black and underrepresented students interested in international journalism.”

The full statement can be read here.

The HFPA has come under fire for its reported lack of diversity in its membership

The statement came about a week after the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards, which were aired live from LA and New York City on February 28.

Ahead of the awards show, the HFPA came under fire for its lack of representation – according to a report from the Los Angeles Times, the 87-member committee of journalists didn’t include any Black members.

Former HFPA president and board member Meher Tatna told Variety that the group hasn’t had a Black member since at least 2002.

In addition to criticism of the voting group, many viewers spoke out after this year’s Golden Globes show to describe how they didn’t feel entirely heard. For one, the best picture category left out films with Black ensembles. And as Insider’s Kirsten Acuna wrote, the HFPA is a very small voting committee in terms of the movie industry.

For example, the group that hosts the Oscars currently has more than 8,000 eligible voters who decide which films win – while the Golden Globes winners were voted on by less than 90 people.

The need for change in the organization – and industry – was touched on at the recent awards show

Ahead of the 2021 Golden Globes, the HFPA released a statement affirming its commitment to “ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV, and the artists inspiring and educating them.”

During the February awards show, criticism of the HFPA wasn’t brushed to the side. Notably, actress Jane Fonda addressed a need for change not only in the hosting committee’s membership, but also the film industry at large.

She gave a speech about the importance of diverse storytelling while accepting the Cecil B. Demille Award.

“Stories, they really can change people, but there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry: the story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out,” Fonda said.

“Let’s all of us, including all the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards, let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent, so that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard,” she said.

“After all, art has always been, not just in step with history, but has lit the away. So let’s be leaders,” Fonda said.