By Laura Harman
Scarlett Johansson has spoken against the Golden Globes controversy that is currently taking place as various actors turn against the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association).
On 6th May, the HFPA announced its latest plan for inclusion and reform. Following this, various celebrities and industry titans have come forward to criticize these initiatives. Scarlett Johansson is the most recent celebrity to criticize the HFPA, and she has been joined by various bodies including Netflix and Amazon who have made claims that they will no longer work with the board.
Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO of Netflix announced, “We’re stopping any activities with your organization [the HFPA] until more meaningful changes are made.” Similarly, Amazon Studios chief, Jennifer Salke, agreed and said that Amazon has “not been working with the HFPA since these issues were first raised, and like the rest of the industry, we are awaiting a sincere and significant resolution before moving forward”.
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Why are the Golden Globes being criticized?
The HFPA is being criticized because of its lack of diversity when it was revealed earlier this year by the Los Angeles Times that of the organization's 87 members, who vote for the awards, there was not a single Black individual. It is these members of the HFPA who vote for the award nominees for the Golden Globe Award Event, which is why the Golden Globe awards are being scrutinized for a lack of diversity.
The HFPA's lack of diversity also looked at the issue of sexism in the award show. This year, the Golden Globes nominated a historic number of women directors, when three of the five nominees were female. This was a step in the right direction but shone a harsh light on the lack of women directors receiving nominations. Before 2021, only five women directors had ever been nominated for this award in the Golden Globes 77-year-long existence.
It was announced on May 6th that the HFPA was committing to a new plan to make the board more inclusive and diverse. Ali Sar, the HFPA president said, "Today's overwhelming vote to reform the Association reaffirms our commitment to change."
What has Scarlett Johansson said about the Golden Globes?
In a statement, Scarlett said, “As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows. In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences.”
She then called for ‘fundamental reform within the organization and called out examples where exploitation was allowed to continue.
Scarlett said, “The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition, and the industry followed suit. 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.”
Which other A-listers have criticized the awards?
Marvel actor, Mark Ruffalo took to Twitter to announce his disapproval of the HFPA. The actor said, "Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past." He even revealed, "Honestly, as a recent Golden Globe winner I can neither feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award."
Actress Ana DuVernay, who starred in Selma, 13th, and A Wrinkle in Time, retweeted this and said, "Love me some Mark Ruffalo #ChangeisGolden."
Reece Witherspoon also took to Twitter to compliment Netflix for moving away from the HFPA. The actress said, "Glad to see Netflix's dedication to creating a more equitable and inclusive entertainment industry."
Bridgerton and Grey's Anatomy creator, Shonda Rhimes, also said, "Once again, Netflix shows how it can and should be done. This is how to be the change."
#ChangeIsGolden pic.twitter.com/cKCF6A7PmmMay 8, 2021
The Golden Globe Awards took place this year on 1st March 2021 and the next event has yet to be scheduled for 2022.
The Golden Globes have reiterated their commitment to change and diversity, but this outcry from both Hollywood actors and the titans within the film and television industry indicates that the board must make a significant change.
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