The statement went on to say that the organization is “forever grateful to those members who have decided to stay the course” and that the HFPA is “ready to work with our members and outside groups to make this change a reality” .
Here is the full HFPA statement:
At a time when the overwhelming majority of our members have chosen to be part of the change, it is disappointing that some members have decided to try to split our organization and sow division and doubt. While some may have their own programs, the HFPA Board of Directors and members share a common goal: to achieve the transformational change our organization needs.
HFPA hires diversity consultant, says two law firms will investigate hotline advice:
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is an organization with over 75 years of history. The scale of the changes we have made so far is just the beginning. This is a critical time for our organization, and we are ready to work with our members and external groups to make this change a reality. We are eternally grateful to the members who have decided to stay the course during this historic and trying time to help make this new era a reality for the HFPA.
BEFORE at 7 p.m.: “A toxic place for working journalists,” was how two members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association described the group when they announced Thursday that they were leaving the group. They say the majority of the Golden Globes organization are reluctant to efforts to improve diversity and ethical standards.
The upheaval caused by the organization’s historic lack of black members and questionable relationships with film companies has already led to the cancellation of the group’s flagship event in January: the Golden Globe Awards.
In a letter written to the HFPA board of directors and obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Diederik van Hoogstraten from the Netherlands and Wenting Xu from China resigned their membership and lambasted the organization’s reform efforts as shown all for the audience, while actually accomplishing little behind the scenes.
“The HFPA continues to adapt to a toxic environment that undermines professional journalism,” the couple wrote in the letter. “The intimidation of members by other members is left unchallenged and unpunished. The harassment of talents and publicists: idem.
They describe the HFPA culture as a culture of “isolation, silence, fear of reprisal, self-management, corruption and verbal abuse”.
The deadline was communicated to the HFPA, but the organization has had no official response.
The HFPA has come under fire this year following a series of dazzling reports from the Los Angeles Times, including the number of black members of the organization of 87 members: 0. The reports also questioned the ethical practices of group members.
The reports prompted various celebrities, publicists and production houses – including Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia – to withdraw from the HFPA and the Globes.
The HFPA insisted on its commitment to change. In May, its members approved a list of planned operational and structural changes, including the addition of 20 members this year, with a focus on adding black journalists to the group’s ranks.
The plan also calls for a 50% increase in membership over the next 18 months, with relaxed membership requirements to open up the organization to a wider range of journalists.
The HFPA released a planned timeline for implementing the changes, including a completion date of August 2 and concluding with the installation of new board members and a new management team.
In addition to expanding and diversifying membership, the changes also include a series of ethics and transparency measures, including a review of the organization’s press trips and a ban on accepting promotional items.
In their letter on Thursday, however, the resigning members questioned the commitment to reform, stating that “the majority of members resist profound change, despite our lawyers and spokespersons publicly suggesting otherwise. “.
“We believe in a welcoming, healthy and respectful place where international journalists working in Los Angeles can thrive and prosper,” they wrote. “This place is not the HFPA. After we leave, we plan to build a transparent, professional and inclusive organization for current and future generations of journalists who just want to work together, without the toxicity. “
City News Service contributed to this report.