The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) received huge backlash this weekend after it was discovered that the organisation does not include a single Black journalist among its 87 members.
The news broke just two days prior to this year’s Golden Globes ceremony, after the Los Angeles Times launched an investigation into the credibility of the board and uncovered the shocking lack of diversity. Within hours, the #TimesUpGlobes movement was launched on Twitter with prominent Hollywood figures including Ava DuVernay, Sterling K. Brown, Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes chiming in.
On the night, Sterling K. Brown, who was presenting an award at the ceremony alongside his This Is Us co-star Susan Kelechi Watson, made a sarcastic dig at the organisation, saying: “It is great to be Black at the Golden Globes” – a moment that soon turned into a viral meme.
Many others showed their solidarity by sharing the #TimesUpGlobes campaign poster, which reads “Hollywood Foreign Press Association: Not a Single Member Out of 87” whilst some, like DuVernay issued a statement calling for significant change.
Sharing her two cents on Twitter, the filmmaker behind the critically acclaimed When They See Us, said: “To be clear, pressure applied to the Globes and its partners from now on isn’t about validation or shiny things from this particular group. The truth that’s not often discussed is that awards play a part in the economic reality of Black filmmakers, artists of colour and women creators in this business.”
She continued: “Unfortunately, these shiny things matter to those who finance, greenlight, produce, distribute and market our projects. Therefore, everyone must have balanced access and consideration so that the playing field can be more equitable for artists of all kinds, colours and cultures.”
Similarly, Viola Davis urged others to speak up, writing: “The journey of a Black artist is littered with obstacles in creating, developing and being acknowledged for our work. If we continue to keep silent, the younger generation of artists will have the exact same load to carry. No more excuses.”
Meanwhile, Tiffany Haddish called out the HFPA moments before presenting an award at the Golden Globes. “Look, I am about to present on the Golden Globes. but no black people out of all 87? SMH YALL CAN DO BETTER #TIMESUPGLOBES” she wrote on Instagram, sharing the campaign poster.
Filmmaker Judd Apatow was also among those who expressed their solidarity, tweeting: “So many crazy things about the @goldenglobes and the Hollywood Foreign press but this is awful. #timesupglobes” Jennifer Aniston, Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo and Jurnee Smollett also shared the poster.
Prior to the ceremony, the HFPA issued a statement vowing to diversify its membership in the future.“We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them,” the statement read. “We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”
Speaking to The Wrap, a spokesperson from the group added: “We welcome the opportunity to meet with groups like Time’s Up around this issue and be part of the solution. As we build our action plan, we welcome the opportunity to meet with prospective Black members who are interested in joining the HFPA…we absolutely welcome all journalists from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds based in Southern California who write for international media to apply.”