UPDATED with dcp statement: Less than a week after the board of the besieged Hollywood Foreign Press Association put forth its latest plan for inclusion and reform, a vast majority of the nonprofit’s members have backed the first step.
In a meeting Thursday that I hear just ended, about 75 of the Golden Globes group’s 86 members voted in favor of the board’s sweeping scheme. The remaining nine who didn’t pass the plan were an assortment of negatives, abstainers and a couple who just weren’t there.
The vote now allows the HFPA board to start hiring a search firm to bring in a CEO, a Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and other administrative executives, as well as find a company to help set up a hotline to report conduct violations. The vote also means the HFPA, which stunningly has zero Black members, will begin to look for new members ASAP. The stated aim is to achieve ia goal of 20 new members over the next year and increase the group’s total membership by 50% in the next two years.
“Today’s overwhelming vote to reform the Association reaffirms our commitment to change,” HFPA president Ali Sar said after the balloting.
“That’s why we’ve already taken some action that will allow us to make swift progress,” he added. “Because we understand the urgency and issue of transparency, we will be continuously updating the members as we move forward in making our organization more inclusive and diverse. Again, we understand that the hard work starts now. We remain dedicated to becoming a better organization and an example of diversity, transparency and accountability in the industry.”
Because of the nature of the lucrative HFPA’s nonprofit status and California statutes, this is far from the end of members having to cast votes. A portion of the changes the HFPA board submitted Monday fall within the organization’s bylaws; to legally change those requires additional voting by the full membership next month and in July.
Longtime Globes broadcaster NBC and Globes producer dick clark productions both came out publicly for the board reform plan. Under pressure from top talent and PR gurus, the Comcast-owned network, which pays about $60 million a year for the Globes, had worked behind the scenes to shift the HFPA leadership and take Hollywood’s backlash seriously, I hear.
Today was the self-declared deadline that the HFPA gave itself back on March 6 “in order to increase transparency in our organization and build a more inclusive community.” Of course, telling of the struggle to see real change at the HFPA, on April 20 newly minted Diversity and Inclusion Advisor Dr. Shaun Harper and fixer deluxe/Scandal inspiration Judy Smith cut ties with the HFPA in frustration.
On Thursday, dcp gave the corporate equivalent of a sigh of relief.
“We are pleased to see the members of the HFPA commit to this plan,” a dcp spokesperson told Deadline. “It’s a big step in the right direction as they now turn to taking immediate steps to implement. The external advisors and many advocacy groups who have come to the table for an open dialogue are a vital part of the reimagination of the organization as we all march toward a more inclusive and transparent future.”
The HFPA board has said that it will all resign if membership doesn’t sign on to their reforms. Today at least keeps them in those jobs until the summer.
Variety first reported the news of today’s membership vote.
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