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(Credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

Netflix tells Hollywood Foreign Press Association that it won’t work with them until reforms are made

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos has penned a letter to HFPA, the association behind the Golden Globes, stating that they will stop any activities with them until “meaningful changes” are made after further issues regarding diversity within the committee surfaced. 

The letter was sent by the CEO after public pressure forced the HFPA to vote upon changes and reforms of its current practices. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sarandos wrote: “Like many in our industry, we’ve been waiting for today’s announcement in the hope that you would acknowledge the breadth of issues facing the HFPA and provide a clear roadmap for change,” Sarandos wrote.

Sarandos’ letter continues: “So we’re stopping any activities with your organisation until more meaningful changes are made.” Later adding, “We know that you have many well-intentioned members who want real change, and that all of us have more work to do to create an equitable and inclusive industry. But Netflix and many of the talent and creators we work with cannot ignore the HFPA’s collective failure to address these crucial issues with urgency and rigour.”

This letter comes just weeks after the HFPA expelled a senior member and former president, Phillip Berk after he shared an article that described the Black Lives Matter movement as a “racist hate group.”

After the LA Times broke the story on Phillip Berk the HFPA issued a statement in response to the breaking story in the LA Times, declaring: “The views expressed in the article circulated by Mr. Berk are those of the author of the article and do not – in any way shape or form – reflect the views and values of the HFPA. The HFPA condemns all forms of racism, discrimination, and hate speech and finds such language and content unacceptable.” His dismissal then followed shortly after along with a promise of further reforms. 

However, Netflix has condemned the reforms as neither robust nor transparent enough to constitute “meaningful change.” It is a decision that was backed by many Hollywood stars who took to Twitter to share their support, including Reese Witherspoon who tweeted: “Glad to see Netflix dedication to creating a more equitable and inclusive entertainment industry.”

At last year’s ceremony, Netflix was the most successful studio with 42 nominations and 10 wins, making it a very meaningful player when trying to enact change. 

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