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“Hollywood Foreign Press Association: Not a single Black member out of 87. #TimesUpGlobes”
So reads the image included in posts to social media platforms on Friday by Time’s Up, the Hollywood coalition formed in the wake of #MeToo to combat workplace discrimination, which was then reposted by a number of its high-profile supporters along with commentary of their own.
Suffice it to say, this is not the sort of publicity that the HFPA, a group of 87 LA-based journalists for foreign media outlets, was hoping for just two days before they host the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards.
But, in the aftermath of multiple exposés about the organization in last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, including one that revealed that it currently counts zero Black journalists among its membership (other reports suggest there was one in 1987), outrage has only grown with each passing day — particularly given the notable absence of any Black-centric films (e.g. Da 5 Bloods, Judas and the Black Messiah, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, One Night in Miami and The United States vs. Billie Holiday) among this year’s nominees for best picture.
The HFPA, under fire, issued a statement to the Times on Thursday stating, “We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them. We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”
That pledge was clearly insufficient in the eyes of Time’s Up, which, shortly after noon PST on Friday, tweeted the aforementioned image along with the text, “A cosmetic fix isn’t enough. #TIMESUPGlobes #TIMESUP”
Throughout Friday afternoon and evening, numerous prominent members of the Hollywood community — Black and white — began sharing the Times’ Up image on social media, along with their own thoughts.
Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote on Instagram, “No excuses (there are none). No apologies (we don’t believe you). No empty gestures (cosmetic fixes are not enough). Change the game. #timesupglobes #timesupnow“
Ava DuVernay tweeted “Old news. New energy. #TimesUpGlobes” which Jurnee Smollett retweeted and added, “A cosmetic fix isn’t enough #TimesUpGlobes #TimesUp” Patton Oswalt tweeted the same, as did Amy Schumer.
Meanwhile, on Instagram, Shonda Rhimes wrote, “Enough is enough.”
Sterling K. Brown posted on Instagram, to applause from his This Is Us costars Chrissy Metz and Susan Kelechi Watson, as well as Rhimes, Kerry Washington and others: “To be nominated for a Golden Globe is a tremendous honor. To win one is a dream come true. It can affect the trajectory of an individual’s career…it certainly has with mine. I’m presenting at the telecast this weekend to honor all the story tellers, especially those of color, who have achieved this extraordinary moment in their careers…AND I have my criticisms of the #HFPA 87 people wield a tremendous amount of power. For any governing body of a current Hollywood award show to have such a lack of voting representation illustrates a level of irresponsibility that should not be ignored. With the power you have HFPA, you simultaneously hold a responsibility to ensure your constituency is fully reflective of the world in which we live. When you know better, you must do better. And having a multitude of Black presenters does not absolve you of your lack of diversity. This is your moment to do the right thing. It is my hope that you will. #timesupglobes“
Later on Friday, the HFPA posted to its own Instagram account an image of the statement it had issued Thursday to the Times, accompanied by this additional text: “We released this statement from the HFPA earlier, and are committed to change. We will also address this in our show on Sunday.”
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