Story at a glance

  • The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a nonprofit organization of journalists and photographers behind the Golden Globes.
  • A Los Angeles Times investigation revealed a culture of "self-dealing, ethical lapses" and a lack of representation.
  • The organization, which has no Black members, has been criticized for the lack of diversity among its Golden Globe nominees.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) doesn't list the names of its 87 members on its website. So it wasn't until a Los Angeles Times Investigation that the public learned none of those members are Black, despite including people of color from around the world.  

“All active members have to present clippings every year as part of the robust reaccreditation process” reviewed by Ernst & Young, an HFPA representative told The Los Angeles Times, which was instituted after the Federal Communications Commission found in 1968 that the awards broadcast “substantially misleads the public as to how the winners were chosen and the procedures followed in choosing them.”


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While the association objects to the claims that members are not "serious journalists," the HFPA told The Los Angeles Times it was “committed to addressing” the lack of Black members. But the problems plaguing the organization go beyond image. 

"The nonprofit HFPA regularly issues substantial payments to its own members in ways that some experts say could run afoul of Internal Revenue Service guidelines," reported The Los Angeles Times in its investigation. "HFPA members collected nearly $2 million in payments from the group in its fiscal year ending in June 2020 for serving on various committees and performing other tasks — more than double the level three years earlier."


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The scrutiny comes after the HFPA escaped a lawsuit by Norwegian entertainment journalist Kjersti Flaa that was dismissed by a judge in November. In it, she too accused the HFPA of a "culture of corruption" — allegations that the organization has denied.

The behind the scenes turmoil comes as the Golden Globes nominations are being criticized for a lack of diversity, leaving out several Black-led Oscar contenders in favor of others, including Sia’s controversial “Music."

“This has been going on so many years and it’s still going on,” Flaa said. “It’s time for them to realize they need to change.”


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Published on Feb 26, 2021