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The Time’s Up Foundation has weighed in on NBC’s decision to not telecast the Golden Globe Awards in 2022 following protests about the demographics and ethics of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that were led by Time’s Up in the aftermath of a Feb. 21 Los Angeles Times exposé.
“This is a defining moment for Hollywood,” Tina Tchen, Time’s Up president and CEO, said in a statement. “Today, we have the opportunity to recognize that, by speaking up against one powerful but deeply flawed awards system, we can begin to reimagine a more equitable industry.”
Continued Tchen, “It took the collective voices of individual actors, creators, and a united front of over 100 publicists — along with the powerful moral leadership of companies like Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia — to make this happen. Together, we demanded an awards ceremony that is fully inclusive, transparent and respectful. Courage and leadership made a difference.”
She closed, “Storytelling is universally powerful. The images we show on screen contribute to how audiences view the world and help define our broader culture. So, the entertainment industry has a responsibility to their audiences — both onscreen and off. But this moment is about more than Hollywood. It is about the courage it takes to confront all of the problematic systems that are right in front of us — in every industry and institution and across society. Because that is what it will take to truly uproot racism, sexism, and homophobia and build safer, more equitable workplaces for everyone.”
This latest Golden Globes saga began after the HFPA came under the microscope in a Feb. 21 Los Angeles Times piece which revealed that the organization counted zero Black journalists among its 87 members (now down to 86 after the April 20 expulsion of former president Philip Berk), among other demographic and ethics concerns. Time’s Up quickly launched its pressure campaign, which was amplified by numerous Hollywood A-listers via social media. The HFPA acknowledged that it needed to change in a written statement and during a brief segment on the Feb. 28 Globes telecast, and then on March 9 announced that it had retained a diversity consultant and a law firm to conduct an internal review.
This was not enough to tamp down concern on the part of Time’s Up and representatives of some of Hollywood’s leading personal PR firms, which began emailing with each other on March 9 and scheduled a March 10 meeting on Zoom. On March 15, 104 PR firms — virtually every major one on both sides of the Atlantic, save for Sunshine Sachs, which represents the HFPA — signed on to an unprecedented missive. “We call on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to swiftly manifest profound and lasting change to eradicate the longstanding exclusionary ethos and pervasive practice of discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption endemic to the HFPA,” the letter read in part. “We cannot advocate for our clients to participate in HFPA events or interviews as we await your explicit plans and timeline for transformational change.”
Last week, the HFPA’s board proposed and full membership approved a plan for sweeping reforms, which was endorsed by both NBC and the HFPA’s longtime producing partner on the Globes, Dick Clark Productions. But the fact that it was to take effect “over the next 18 months” was not fast enough for Time’s Up and the coalition of PR firms, which said they would continue to boycott HFPA events unless and until reforms are actually enacted; Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia, all of which announced that they would take the same position; Scarlett Johansson and recent Globe winner Mark Ruffalo, who issued critical statements; and Tom Cruise, who returned the three Golden Globe statuettes that he has won.
And so NBC reconsidered its position and decided that it would not facilitate a telecast in 2022 in order to allow the HFPA adequate time to address its problems.
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