Time’s Up Criticizes HFPA Response to Absence of Black Members, Calls on NBCUniversal to Reform Golden Globes

Time’s Up has called on NBCUniversal to reform the Golden Globes after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association leadership addressed the absence of Black members within the organization on Sunday’s telecast.

HFPA President Ali Sar, Vice President Helen Hoehne and former president Meher Tatna took the stage to discuss the issue during the show, with short remarks admitting that the organization needs Black members and promising “a more inclusive future.”

“We recognize we have our own work to do,” Hoehne said. “Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.”

In response, Time’s Up President and CEO Tina Tchen penned letters to the HFPA and the award show’s broadcast partner NBCUniversal, writing, “We must fix the Golden Globes.”

“Statements made by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) tonight and over the last several days indicate that the organization believes it can make the fix,” Tchen said in the letter to NBCUniversal. “Nothing shared thus far should make the industry confident that the organization alone will create the solution.”

“If the HFPA understood the social reckoning of these times, it would not have needed an LA Times exposé followed by negative global press and a pummeling on social media to announce a commitment to change,” Tchen added, referencing the wave of backlash the HFPA has faced on social media and in the press after Time’s Up launched the #TimesUpGlobes campaign in the days leading up to the telecast.

Calling the HFPA’s pledge to find Black members a “cosmetic” commitment to change, the letter continues: “This goes far beyond the simplistic description we heard tonight of representation and inclusion. The awards process must be free from concerns of racism or misogyny and devoid of the stories of rampant discrimination against filmmakers of color and the discomfort of actors who participate in any event.”

Tchen then urges NBCUniversal to take a leadership role in reforming the award show.

“Much of the credibility of the Golden Globes is drawn from its affiliation with your network. NBCUniversal has a reputational interest in fixing these issues,” Tchen explains. “To do so is consistent with your Chairman Brian Roberts’s commitment that the ‘company will try to play an integral role in driving lasting reform.’ As leaders of NBCUniversal television, your power as stakeholders makes you an effective force of change.”

In the letter to the HFPA’s leadership, Tchen addressed Tatna, Sar and Hoehne directly.

“Three years ago, Time’s Up sparked a movement at the Golden Globes. Pledging to work with allies across the country — across the globe — we demanded workplaces that are free from sexual harassment and to require institutions plagued by inequality to open their doors and create greater opportunities for all,” Tchen began. “We are at your door now to discuss your workplace.”

“Yes, the lack of diverse representation in your membership is significant and an embarrassment in its own right. However, it is only one of many concerns of inclusion and respect that have been documented,” Tchen continued. “The HFPA’s statements tonight and over the last several days indicate a fundamental lack of understanding of the depth of the problems at hand. Your stated version of change is cosmetic — find Black people. That is not a solution.”

Explaining that the problems within the organization “cannot be addressed simply by a search for new members who meet your self-declared membership criteria,” Tchen added that “change only occurs from an awareness of larger cultural problems, as well as a long-term commitment to systemic change.”

“We listened tonight and hoped to hear the HFPA respond with some awareness that the industry wide discontent with your organization’s practices goes far beyond what you offered tonight and in the days preceding. What we had hoped you heard was that not having a Black member was a symptom of a problem, not just the problem itself.”

Both letters end with the sentiment: “The Globes are no longer golden. We at Time’s Up stand ready to work for real change.”

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