HFPA Members Overwhelmingly Back Board Reform Plan; Proposed Bylaw Changes Set For Summer Vote
(UPDATED with dcp statement) Days after the board of the besieged Hollywood Foreign Press Association put forth its latest plan for inclusion and reform, a vast majority of the non-profit’s members have backed the first step.
In a meeting that I hear just ended, approximately 75 of the Golden Globes group’s 86 members voted in favor of the board’s sweeping scheme. The remaining nine who didn’t pass the plan were an assortment of negatives, abstainers and a couple who just weren’t there.
This now allows the HFPA board to start hiring a search firm to bring in a CEO, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and other administrative executives, as well as find a company to help set up a hotline to report conduct violations. The vote also means the HFPA, which stunningly has zero Black members, will begin to look for new members ASAP. The stated aim is to achieve its new goal of 20 new members over the next year and increase their total membership by 50% in the next two years.
“Today’s overwhelming vote to reform the Association reaffirms our commitment to change,” said HFPA president Ali Sar after the balloting.
“That’s why we’ve already taken some action that will allow us to make swift progress,” he added. “Because we understand the urgency and issue of transparency, we will be continuously updating the members as we move forward in making our organization more inclusive and diverse. Again, we understand that the hard work starts now. We remain dedicated to becoming a better organization and an example of diversity, transparency and accountability in the industry.”
However, because of the nature of the lucrative HFPA’s non-profit status and California statutes, this is far from the end of member’s having to cast their votes. A portion of the changes the HFPA board submitted on May 3 fall within the organization’s by-laws. To legally change the by-laws requires additional voting by the full membership next month and in July.
Long time Globes broadcaster NBC and Globes producer dick clark productions both came out publicly for the board reform plan announced on Monday. Under pressure from top talent and PR gurus, the Comcast-owned network, which pays about $60 million a year for the Globes, had worked BTS to shift the HFPA leadership to take Hollywood’s backlash truly seriously, I hear.
On Thursday, dcp gave the corporate equivalent of a sigh of relief.
“We are pleased to see the members of the HFPA commit to this plan,” a dcp spokesperson told Deadline. “It’s a big step in the right direction as they now turn to taking immediate steps to implement. The external advisors and many advocacy groups who have come to the table for an open dialogue are a vital part of the reimagination of the organization as we all march toward a more inclusive and transparent future.”
The HFPA board has said that they will all resign if membership doesn’t sign on to their reforms. Today at least keeps them in those jobs until the summer.
Variety first reported the news of today’s membership vote.
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