HFPA Calls Criticism ‘Disappointing,’ Says It is Ready ‘To Make this a Reality’

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by Tom Tapp on June 17, 2021.

After two members of the Hollywood Foreign Press resigned their memberships on Thursday calling it “a toxic place for working journalists,” the HFPA responded Thursday evening calling it “disappointing that some members have decided to try and splinter our organization and sow division and doubt.”

The statement went on to say that the organization is “forever grateful to the members that have decided to stay the course” and that the HFPA is “ready to collaborate with our members and outside groups to make this change a reality.”

Here is the HFPA statement in full:

At a time when the overwhelming majority of our members have chosen to be a part of change, it is disappointing that some members have decided to try and splinter our organization and sow division and doubt. While some may have their own agendas, the Board and membership of the HFPA share one, common goal — passing the transformational change our organization needs. …

Deadline Hollywood 6/17


Golden Globes: Two HFPA Members Resign, Calling Group “Toxic,” Vow to Form Competing Organization

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Scott Feinberg on June 17, 2021.

The embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the organization of SoCal-based entertainment journalists for foreign media outlets that is behind the annual Golden Globe Awards — will end this week with (at least) three fewer members than it started it with, bringing its current membership total to 83, down from 87 at the time of the 78th Golden Globes last February.

On Thursday, shortly after The Hollywood Reporter reported the death of longtime member Yoram Kahana, the Los Angeles Times broke the news that two newer members, Diederik van Hoogstraten and Wenting Xu, had resigned from the group, calling it “toxic” and vowing to form a competing group of journalists — “a transparent, professional and inclusive organization for the current and next generations of reporters who simply want to work together, without the toxicity.”

The HFPA has been under fire since it was revealed in a February 21 LA Times piece that the organization counted zero Black journalists among its then 87 members, and regularly conducted itself in ethically and financially improper ways. Time’s Up and a coalition of entertainment industry PR firms launched a campaign to pressure the HFPA to reform, and though the organization proposed a plan to do better (and expelled longtime member and past president Philip Berk for sending a racially insensitive email), it was deemed inadequate by Time’s Up, the PR firms and studios and networks including Netflix and Amazon, prompting NBC, the longtime broadcaster of the Globes, to refuse to broadcast a ceremony in 2022. …

Hollywood Reporter 6/17

About Jeffrey Burman 861 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.