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Group behind Golden Globes hires first chief diversity officer

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which runs the Golden Globe Awards, announced Wednesday that it has hired its first chief diversity officer amid ongoing efforts to improve its record on inclusion.

The HFPA selected for the job Neil Philips, an Aspen Institute Education Entrepreneurship Fellow and member of the inaugural Echoing Green/Open Society Foundation Black Male Achievement Fellowship, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Neil brings a powerful voice for inclusion and diversity not just to the HFPA but also to the Hollywood community and media industry,” association President Helen Hoehne told The Times. “Through our reform process, we believe it is not sufficient to just make progress internally but also necessary to provide a platform for greater diversity and inclusion in our industry and the entertainment community our members cover. His willingness to talk openly about uncomfortable subjects and lead by example makes him an exceptional voice for change and we look forward to supporting his work.” 

The news comes weeks after the HFPA announced that it is partnering with the NAACP to promote more diversity, inclusion and equity in the entertainment industry. The partnership is part of a five-year plan with the goal of increasing diverse representation and helping to create more employment opportunities for minorities in entertainment.

The Times earlier this year published an investigation highlighting the point that the HFPA had no Black members, in response to which NBC announced in May that it would not air the Golden Globes next year. The HFPA has said it plans to hand out awards in some fashion in 2022, even if the event is not televised, according to the Times. 

“The HFPA has welcomed me and given me the opportunity to work not only with them but the broader Hollywood and media industries that have struggled to discuss these issues of race openly and candidly without fear,” Philips said in a statement provided to the Times. “I have always believed love is the answer to just about everything and if that makes people uncomfortable, that’s OK because discomfort signals an opportunity for growth and discussion. I’ve spent my entire career managing my own discomfort and diving deeply into the realm of breaking the bonds of systemic racism and having the uncomfortable, yet productive, conversations that can radically change organizations and individual lives.” 

Tags chief diversity officer Golden Globe Awards Golden Globes HFPA Hollywood Foreign Press Association representation

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