HFPA addresses lack of Black voters during Golden Globes telecast: 'We have our own work to do'
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association used Sunday night's Golden Globes as a stage to voice its commitment to fostering diversity among its ranks.
Days after the Los Angeles Times unveiled a searing report that revealed there are no Black journalists among its 87-strong membership, the organization trotted three of its members onstage — all of whom suggested the group will do more to welcome Black voices into its voting base.
"Tonight, while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognize that we have our own work to do. Just like in film and televison, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization," said Helen Hoehne, an HFPA member from Germany. Added India's Meher Tatna: "We must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table, and we're going to make that happen."
The pair were joined onstage by the HFPA's current president, Ali Sar, who promised that the group would be "creating an environment where a diverse membership is the norm, not the exception" before thanking the audience and committing to "a more inclusive future" for the organization.
While celebrities attended the virtual red carpet during the Golden Globes pre-show, Ava DuVernay — who tweeted her displeasure with the HFPA after the publication of the Times piece — again took to social media to discuss the controversy.
"The truth that's not often discussed is that awards play a part in the economic reality of Black filmmakers, artists of color, and women creators in this business," she wrote ahead of the ceremony, also revealing that she would be introducing the Best Picture-nominated musical Hamilton during the broadcast. "Unfortunately, these shiny things matter to those who finance, greenlight, produce, distribute, and market our projects. Therefore, everyone must have balanced access and consideration so that the playing field can be more equitable for artists of all kinds, colors, and cultures."
"Thank you.... for bringing the lack of representation in the HFPA to light," she tweeted. "Real change must come."
Following the Golden Globe nominations earlier this year, the HFPA received criticism for including a minimal number of Black artists across both film and television categories.
Despite Regina King's nomination among the Best Director set, her drama One Night in Miami wasn't nominated for Best Picture, nor were any of the major Black-led films in the overall conversation, such as Judas and the Black Messiah, Da 5 Bloods, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture across musical and drama categories, only Disney's Hamilton contains a lead cast comprised predominantly of people of color.