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Some Golden Globes voters say they are being scapegoated for America's racial issues

  • A half dozen Hollywood Foreign Press Association members contacted by Variety say they are baffled that the controversy over the organization's loose financial practices and lack of diversity has quickly escalated to the point that NBC canceled broadcasting next year's Golden Globes ceremony. They consider the controversy opportunistic, arguing that the Los Angeles Times story from February pointing out that the HFPA has no Black members isn't news -- it's been public information since 2013. “Maybe as an organization we were self-absorbed, and not thinking about the political correctness and the climate in this country,” said one HFPA member anonymously. “We are not a racist organization. This is a racist country. Pointing fingers at us now — and saying you should have 13% Black members — it’s ridiculous.” Another added: “They have known us for 30, 40, 50 years. How could this have been a surprise?” One HFPA member pointed out that a coalition of more than 100 Hollywood publicity firms that have led the charge against the Golden Globes organization aren't much diverse, either. Judy Solomon, an 89-year-old HFPA member from Israel since 1956 and its former president, argued that the press is “jumping on top of the HFPA — and you had fun doing it.” She said the group could adapt to the times, if allowed to do so. “You have to give it a chance,” she said. “The local paper has to give it a chance, which they haven’t. Give it a chance… I think we did do something good.” Solomon adds: “We have Chinese. We have Japanese. We have different things. We don’t have people who are Black-skinned for a very simple reason — because nobody applied.”


    • Golden Globes have faced trouble before, from FCC booting it from the airwaves in the late 1960s to CBS dropping it in 1982: "The Golden Globes were created by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 1944 and quickly developed a reputation as unserious and slippery," explain The New York Times' Nicole Sperling and Brooks Barnes. "In the late 1960s, the Federal Communications Commission got the Globes booted from the airwaves, saying it 'misled the public as to how the winners were determined.' CBS dropped it in 1982 after Pia Zadora was named “new star of the year,” a plaudit essentially paid for by her billionaire husband, Meshulam Riklis, who flew H.F.P.A. members to Las Vegas and wined and dined them at his Riviera hotel and casino. Hollywood viewed the awards as meaningless at best and corrupt at worst — most notable for their open bar and the industry perks enjoyed by their some 80 voting members. Still, until recent months, the Globes trundled on and even gained prominence, buoyed by a top-notch producer in Dick Clark Productions, which put together a TV broadcast 'that could teach the Oscars lessons,' said Stephen Galloway, dean of Chapman University’s film school and a former executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter. The merging of no-holds-barred hosts, free-flowing drinks and the awarding of prizes to both film and television stars in a smallish ballroom where they often mingled between tables meant the show rarely disappointed. 'In some ways, the legitimacy of the show made up for the illegitimacy of the awards,' Mr. Galloway said."
    • The Golden Globes won't be missed: "Let’s be honest here," says Clayton Davis. "If the HFPA were to miraculously get their ducks in a row, what POC journalist would want to accept an invitation or want to apply? The continuous fight to ensure that representation doesn’t become “tokenism” would be very much apparent in accepting the first wave of members from different backgrounds. If you didn’t see my value before this explosion in the media, why would I let you use my cultural identity as a notch in your racist belt? I, and every other underrepresented group fighting for inclusion, deserve better. The HFPA had a 'get out of jail free' card during #OscarsSoWhite in 2016. They could have added new voices to their well-known organization that has a track record of racist behavior. They did not. They chose to double-down, even making it more apparent that they are only in it for themselves."

    TOPICS: Golden Globe Awards, NBC, Award Shows, Hollywood Foreign Press Association