(UPDATED with NBC & dick clark production statements) The 2022 Golden Globes remain canceled, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is praying its latest set of self-described reforms can finally turn things around with Tinseltown.
“Three months ago, we made a promise to commit to transformational change and with this vote we kept the last and most significant promise in reimagining the HFPA and our role in the industry,” HFPA board president Ali Sar said Thursday after all the members’ vote to approve bylaw reforms ere tallied by Ernst & Young. “All of these promised reforms can serve as industry benchmarks and allow us to once again partner meaningfully with Hollywood moving forward.”
With top studios, publicist and talent still keeping the HFPA at arm’s length over its lack of diverse membership and long history of institutional and personal misconduct, that frayed partnership may be far from repaired with this recent set of voting and restructuring.
Yet, at least one major stakeholder, who also pays the HFPA around $60 million a year to broadcast the dick clark productions produced Globes, is pleased-ish
“We’re encouraged by the passage of the amended bylaws,” a NBC spokesperson said Thursday. “This marks a positive step forward and signals the HFPA’s willingness to do the work necessary for meaningful change.” The Comcast-owned net pulled the plug on the 2022 Globes back in May. At present, there is no word that the 2023 Globes will not be held, at least not yet.
The Globes producers also were on board today.
“We applaud the adoption of new bylaws, and the important policy revisions over the last few months, as the HFPA strives for reform,” a dcp spokesperson said. “We look forward to seeing continued urgency, dedication and positive change in order to create a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and transparent future.”
Under the promise of the current board to quit en masse if the reforms didn’t pass, the suggested bylaws had to get the thumbs up from at least 56 of the HFPA’s 84 members to become real. Obviously, based on today’s statement by Sar, they hit that mark.
Fueled by a series of previously announced moves, the newly approved bylaws put together by law firm Ropes & Gray, LLP are the most significant step on paper the HFPA has taken in is path to reform so far with new members now welcome and a new board in the mix. Still, for all the drive to bring in new members, potential new leadership and administrators, power player General Counsel/Chief Operating Officer George Goeckner remains firmly in place.
Here are the new bylaws enacted today:
- The Southern California residency requirement is now eliminated, with any qualified journalist living in the U.S. who works for a foreign publication now eligible to apply.
- Eligibility is now expanded to journalists outside of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), and membership is now open to journalists who work in media beyond print.
- The sponsorship requirement is now eliminated, and the role of the credentials committee will include third parties from credible journalistic and other organizations focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- New members will immediately be allowed to vote on the Golden Globes, vote on board members, and serve on committees.
- Member accreditation has been revised so that under the new process, all current members will be required to meet the standards as incoming members for re-accreditation of their membership. This process will take place annually, and members may immediately begin submitting materials to the credentials committee.
- A new grievance procedure will immediately go into effect to ensure accountability throughout the organization involving outside independent investigators. A new code of conduct will be signed by every member and subject to its provisions.
- Members will not be allowed to accept promotional materials or gifts from studios, publicists, actors, directors or others associated with motion pictures and television programs.
- The Board of Directors will now include 15 total directors – 12 active members and three who are non-members. Members will elect the 12 internal directors. The Board will then select the three outside non-members.
- The HFPA will employ new Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Human Resource Officer and Chief Diversity Officer.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:
- The majority of the members have already completed their initial diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions.
- Members will continue to participate in monthly DEI workshops as organized by DEI consultants, and complete mandatory sexual harassment training.
- All new board and committee members will undergo DEI and leadership training for their respective roles
- What’s Next:
- 8/5: The current Board of Directors will set Initial Election Meeting, as required by the new bylaws.
- 8/6: Members seeking re-accreditation can begin submitting materials to the credentials committee.
- Week of 8/8: Members who wish to be considered for elected office submit credentials to credentials committee; this must take place at least fifteen (15) days before the “Initial Election Meeting”
- Week of 8/15: Ballots are provided to active members for the election of a new, expanded board and credentials committee; this must take place at least ten (10) days before the ballots are due for tabulation
- Both the board and credentials committee, as currently comprised, remain in charge and functionally operational in their positions until the new, expanded board and credentials committee are seated
- 8/26 or 8/30: Due date for ballots for the election of Board of Directors and credentials committee to be returned to Ernst & Young
- 8/27 or 8/31: Election results for new, expanded board and credentials committee announced
- 8/30 or 9/1: New board and credentials committee are seated; intensive work begins immediately on the myriad issues facing the organization, including the selection of three non-member board directors, and five non-member credentials committee members
- 9/3 or 9/7: Election results for president are announced
- Background on Election Process:
- The organization is voting on a 12-member board directors and three member credentials committee members
- Members can choose to run for both Board of Directors and credentials committee
- Active members will receive two separate ballots, one for Board of Directors and one for credentials committee, listing the respective slates of candidates
- All ballots for office shall be ranked-choice ballots, the same as previously used in organizational voting
- No member, except the president, can serve on both the board of directors and the credentials committee.
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