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Scarlett Johansson criticized the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Saturday, saying she has faced “sexist questions and remarks” at press conferences and is urging the industry to “step back” from the beleaguered association.
Johansson’s comments come a day after Mark Ruffalo became the first Hollywood A-lister to distance himself from the HFPA. Time’s Up, a coalition of PR firms, Amazon, and Netflix have also suggested that reforms announced by the HFPA earlier this week do not adequately address concerns about the organization’s demographics and ethics.
“As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows,” Johansson shared in a statement to THR. “In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences. The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition and the industry followed suit. Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”
Ruffalo, who won a Golden Globe earlier this year for his performance in the limited series I Know This Much Is True, said Friday, “It’s discouraging to see the HFPA, which has gained prominence and profited handsomely from their involvement with filmmakers and actors, resist the change that is being asked of them from many of the groups that have been most disenfranchised by their culture of secrecy and exclusion.
“Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past,” he continued. “Our industry is embracing the opportunity for greater equality in this beautiful moment. It is not perfect and long overdo but it is clear what must happen and how. The Justice Movement is offering all of us, the HFPA, and every other entertainment entity, a good way forward. We should all follow suit. It is our audiences and our highest sense of decency that we are ultimately serving with these changes. They are both deserving.”
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