Tom Cruise gives back all three of his Golden Globes trophies amid HFPA controversy

Tom Cruise is the latest Hollywood star to respond in light of the HFPA controversy

Tom Cruise speaks onstage during the 10th Annual Lumiere Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on January 30, 2019 in Burbank
(Image credit: Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Advanced Imaging Society)

Tom Cruise has given back all of his Golden Globes trophies amid the HFPA controversy surrounding diversity and inclusion.

The Hollywood star, who is perhaps best known for his role as Ethan Hunt in the popular Mission Impossible franchise, has won three Golden Globes awards throughout his career. He was the recipient of the trophy for Best Actor for both Born on the Fourth of July in 1990 and Jerry Maguire in 1997, and also won for Best Supporting Actor in Magnolia three years later in 2000.

Despite the accolades Tom Cruise has received, however, it’s understood that he recently returned all three of his prestigious Golden Globes awards. 


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Why did Tom Cruise give back his Golden Globes trophies?

As reported by PEOPLE, Tom Cruise has given back his Golden Globes trophies amid the HFPA controversy. His significant move also comes as NBC announced their decision not to broadcast the Golden Globes in 2022, with the 2021 ceremony having already aired earlier this year. 

Tom is not the only actor to have responded in some way in light of the HFPA controversy, which concerns the question of diversity and inclusivity within the Golden Globes. However, it's thought that Tom is the first winner to actually return their Golden Globes trophies. 

This is understood to have been done as a way for him to show solidarity with the criticizms that have been levelled against the HFPA in recent months. 

What does HFPA stand for and what is the HFPA controversy? 

The HFPA stands for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and they have been at the centre of a huge backlash after it was revealed earlier this year by the Los Angeles Times that the organization's membership included no Black individuals. Given that it is the HFPA members who go on to vote for the award nominees for the Golden Globe Awards, this has led to immense criticism over the lack of diversity and inclusion. 

On May 6th, it was announced that the HFPA were committing to a new plan in order to make the board of members more inclusive. President of the HFPA, Ali Sar, stated: "Today's overwhelming vote to reform the Association reaffirms our commitment to change." 

However, Tom Cruise’s decision to give back his Golden Globes is the latest in a series of responses from titans within the film industry following the announcement of the HFPA’s proposed initiatives. Scarlett Johansson and other A-listers joined the Golden Globes controversy in a move that could lead to significant reforms being made.

Scarlett Johansson speaks during the film discussion of "Marriage Story" during the press conference at Walter Reade Theater on October 04, 2019 in New York City

(Image credit: Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Film at Lincoln Center)

In a statement, Scarlett called for major change, declaring: “Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”

Fellow actors such as Mark Ruffalo have echoed her call for change. Whilst Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO and Chief Content Creator at Netflix is said to have written a letter to the HFPA in which he stated that whilst the initiatives were “an important first step”, Netflix would be “stopping any activities with [the HFPA] until more meaningful changes are made.”

How has the HFPA responded to the controversy? 

Following on from the reaction from these major industry figures to their original initiatives, the HFPA has now responded to NBC’s decision not to air the Golden Globes 2022 ceremony.

In a post shared on the Golden Globes website, the HFPA stated: “Regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes, implementing transformational changes as quickly — and as thoughtfully — as possible remains the top priority for our organization.

“We invite our partners in the industry to the table to work with us on the systemic reform that is long overdue, both in our organization as well as within the industry at large.”

A view of the Golden Globe Trophy on display during the 78th Annual Golden Globe® Awards aired on February 28th, 2021 at The Rainbow Room on February 27, 2021 in New York City

(Image credit: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Hollywood Foreign Press Association)

The HFPA then went on to outline a timeline for their reform milestones, which they claimed would demonstrate their “commitment to achieving these goals with extreme urgency”. 

This proposed plan for reforms goes through their goals on a weekly basis, stretching until the week of August 2nd 2021. It remains to be seen which other stars might speak out now that the organization's new initiatives have been announced. 

However it’s clear that those who have responded amid the ongoing HFPA controversy, such as Scarlett Johansson, Tom Cruise and Netflix have helped shine a light on this very important issue and urged people towards a major change.