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(Credit: Nicholas Demetriades)

Film

Hollywood Foreign Press Association addresses the absence of Black members

@LeeThomasMason

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has publicly addressed the major issue of diversity after it was revealed that the prestigious organisation does not include a single Black member.

Major calls for diversity are ringing around the film industry after it was revealed that of the 87 journalists included in the organisation of international experts, a group that decides the nominations and winners for the Golden Globes, not a single one of them is Black. In fact, a report issued by Variety revealed that the HFPA board chair, Meher Tatna, explained that the organisation has not had any Black members in 20 years.

During the show, Ali Sar, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association president, stood alongside Vice President Helen Hoehne and former President Meher Tatna addressed the issue.

“On behalf of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, thank you for joining us tonight to celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognise we have our own work to do,” Hoehne stated. “Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.”

Tatna, echoing the sentiment, added: “We must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table, and we are going to make that happen.”

“That means creating an environment where a diverse membership is the norm, not the exception,” Sar added, before concluding: “Thank you and we look forward to a more inclusive future.”

Reacting to the news, Spike Lee commented: “The Hollywood Foreign Press clearly has much werk to do,” he wrote in a statement. “However, it’s been a joy to watch our children Satchel and Jackson serve as the ambassadors to the Golden Globes. I hope the HFPA understands in order to stay relevant, they must diversify their membership. Put some sistas and brothers up on that wall. Y’all buggin’ out!”

Echoing Lee’s comments, actor and filmmaker Amber Tamblyn took to social media: “The complete exclusion of Black women and Black people in general from the entire membership of the HFPA which votes for The Golden Globes is unacceptable,” she wrote on Instagram. “We call on one of our country’s biggest and brightest award show ceremonies to ensure the future of the Golden Globes’ leadership represents the content, culture, and creative work of women of ALL kinds, not just white women, and of Black voices in general, both as nominees and as members instrumental in the nominating process. A cosmetic fix just isn’t enough. The world is watching.”

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