LOS ANGELES — Stars like Sterling K. Brown and Kerry Washington are speaking up about the lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ranks, namely the fact that the organization does not currently have a single Black member.
This wave of criticism comes ahead of Sunday’s 78th Annual Golden Globes ceremony. HFPA board chair Meher Tatna told Variety on Friday that the organization of international journalists has not had any Black members in at least 20 years.
On Friday afternoon, #TimesUp posted an image of a cracked Golden Globe statue to social media, featuring the message, “Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Not a single Black member out of 87.” The organization captioned the post, “A cosmetic fix isn’t enough,” and the added hashtag “#TimesUpGlobes.”
Washington, Jurnee Smollett, Amy Schumer, Sean Hayes, Simon Pegg, DeVon Franklin and Alyssa Milano were among the celebs to repost the image and caption. Ellen Barkin asked, “What price HFPA?” in her post. Rashida Jones took to her Instagram story, adding, “Representation Matters. A cosmetic fix isn’t gonna cut it,” while Amber Tamblyn wrote, “How far have we come, you ask? Not far enough.”
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who became the first Black woman nominated for Best Director by the HFPA in 2015, captioned her post, “Old news. New energy.” DuVernay also retweeted a 2017 post from Jada Pinkett Smith, who had posted, “I have so much to say on why [her ‘Girls Trip’ co-star] Tiffany Haddish was not nominated for a Globe…but I wont.”
Other prolific creators speaking up include Damon Lindelof, J.J. Abrams (and his Bad Robot company) and Shonda Rhimes, who wrote, “Enough is enough” in her post. Judd Apatow added, “So many crazy things about the @goldenglobes and the Hollywood Foreign press but this is awful.”
“Love & Basketball” and “The Old Guard” filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood reposted the image with additional sentiment, writing, “No excuses (there are none). No apologies (we don’t believe you). No empty gestures (cosmetic fixes are not enough). Change the game.”
Brown, a Golden Globe winner and two-time nominee, posted a different photo to Instagram, writing a lengthy and thoughtful caption.
“To be nominated for a Golden Globe is a tremendous honor. To win one is a dream come true. It can affect the trajectory of an individual’s career…it certainly has with mine,” Brown began.
“I’m presenting at the telecast this weekend to honor all the story tellers, especially those of color, who have achieved this extraordinary moment in their careers…AND I have my criticisms of the #HFPA,” he continued. “87 people wield a tremendous amount of power. For any governing body of a current Hollywood award show to have such a lack of voting representation illustrates a level of irresponsibility that should not be ignored.”
“With the power you have HFPA, you simultaneously hold a responsibility to ensure your constituency is fully reflective of the world in which we live,” the actor concluded. “When you know better, you must do better. And having a multitude of Black presenters does not absolve you of your lack of diversity. This is your moment to do the right thing. It is my hope that you will.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association posted a statement in response to the criticism: “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. 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.”