A member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) told Sky News he wanted the bosses of the HFPA and the Golden Globe Awards to be held accountable for the lack of diversity within the organization and the controversy in course around high profile awards.
In response to NBC’s decision not to televise the Golden globes next year (for the first time in 26 years) unless the organization behind it – the HFPA – makes significant changes to its membership after learning that it hasn’t had a single black member since 20-year-old Husam Asi broke ranks in interviews with the press. with HFPA members and Golden Globes leaders are rare.
Double the pressure is the Hollywood star Tom cruise, who has returned the three Globes he won over the years to protest the lack of diversity.
Mr Asi confirmed to Sky News he had ‘demanded an investigation’ of the HFPA and everything associated with the Golden Globes, but says nailing leaders to power is difficult because those at the top can be elusive .
“When we find those responsible, they should be held accountable,” he said.
“But at the moment, I don’t know exactly who is responsible. Everyone blames themselves.
“There is a need for reforms … for transparency … better management. At the moment, it’s a bit chaotic and everything is managed by lawyers, consultants and all kinds of experts. therefore a good direction.
“The leaders admitted that there had been a failure, if there was a failure, then who is responsible for that failure? Because you can’t pay millions of dollars to experts and then find that the system is broken.”
“Obviously they haven’t done their job, the association is run by a small group of members,” said the HFPA member and BBC Cinematic presenter.
WarnerMedia, Netflix and Amazon Studios also decline to participate in events related to HFPA, and other A-listers, including Scarlett johansson called for a “fundamental reform” of the event, which can give a significant boost to the career of a nominee or winner.
Ahead of this year’s ceremony on March 1, Sky News reported allegations that votes within the HFPA can easily be swayed and new members are banned, when news emerged that there is no blacks among the 87 members of the organization who vote on the awards.
Audiences for this year’s Golden Globes have plummeted to less than six million U.S. viewers – down from 18.4 million last year – in a tough year for cinema, with COVID restrictions impacting ceremonies and cinema closures.
Of course, all of this is nothing new for those of us who are paying attention to awards season and all the controversy and turmoil it sparks.
These last weeks, BAFTA has been embroiled in the controversy surrounding allegations of intimidation and sexual harassment made against Noel Clarke – something he firmly denies – after he awarded him his Outstanding British Contribution to the Cinema Prize after the claims surfaced.
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For many years, the Oscars have been plagued by the #OscarsSoWhite campaign. As early as 1973, Marlon Brando rejected his Oscar for Best Actor to protest Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in cinema.
This new controversy threatens to further undermine the Golden Globes’ position, and Mr Asi told Sky News that the awards keep nominees moving up.
He said: “The ones who will lose the most are the new talent and in many cases the talent of color, because often they get the Golden Globes push and only after Golden Globes recognition they are recognized at the Emmys. or at the Oscars.
“I don’t think it will affect the big stars because they are already established.
“So it’s sad for new talent, young talent.”
Mr Asi said he hopes the Golden Globes controversy will spark a deeper debate about diversity across the industry – “because I don’t remember ever meeting a black journalist, international black journalist, in entertainment junkets “.
“That means we have a problem in the press as well … and they don’t have black publicists either … if the reforms don’t go beyond the HFPA, I don’t think we’ll get big- thing, “he added. .
“The Golden Globes offer a different perspective, the international perspective that is different from the choices of American voters. And yes, they cause debate and controversy because they are different, sometimes eccentric.
“But that’s the fun.”