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Los Angeles: Thursday, the organization that handles the Golden Globe Awards approved a series of reforms to improve the representation of different groups in its ranks, in an effort to contain controversy after the torrent of criticism in Hollywood over the lack of diversity in its members.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) consists of about ninety journalists who form the jury for the Golden Globes, the most prominent film award in the United States after the Oscars.
The organization has sparked much controversy since media outlets revealed last February that it does not include any black person in its ranks.
Following the disclosure of this information, a group of about 100 professionals in the entertainment sector formally sent a letter to the League that included explicit criticism of its “discriminatory behavior, lack of professionalism, ethical violations and accusations of financial corruption,” charges previously made by the “Times Up” movement against sexual harassment.
Thursday, the League’s members approved by majority a series of measures aimed at addressing the situation, including increasing the number of its members by 50% in the next eighteen months, especially for the inclusion of black journalists, in addition to reforming the ambiguous and hard-line system adopted to accept new members.
The association’s president, Ali Sarr, said in a statement, “Today’s vote by a large majority to reform the association reaffirms our determination to change.”
“Because we understand the critical need and importance of transparency, we will keep our members constantly informed of the progress we are making to make our organization more inclusive and diversified,” he added.
“We understand that the difficult work has just begun. We will remain determined to become a better organization and a model for diversity, transparency and responsibility,” Sarr said.
“A few members voted against (reforms) or abstained from voting, and the majority supported them,” a member of the association told AFP, requesting anonymity.
“I am very satisfied. We have to change and we have to improve ourselves if we want to continue,” he said.
The Golden Globe Awards are still of great importance, despite the decline in public follow-up in recent years. It began a self-review about the future after threats to boycott the recent controversy.
The former president of the League, Philip Burke, was withdrawn from membership last month after describing the “black lives matter” movement in an email as a “hate movement,” and two advisors hired by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to address the problems of lack of diversity quit due to lack of progress. On this front.
The majority of the association’s members are correspondents who regularly work for well-known and respected media outlets in their country, such as the French “Le Figaro” and the Spanish “El País”. However, the reputation of this extraordinary committee has been damaged in the past by the inclusion of members whose presence has been criticized (such as a Russian bodybuilder who has performed in second-rate films).
The League has also faced repeated criticism over the lack of attention given to black or minority actors, who are often absent from the award winners ’record.