December 4, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Time’s Up slams 2021 Golden Globes reply to diversity crisis

Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. leaders spent 43 seconds of their three-hour Golden Globes telecast speaking to the need to diversify the group’s membership.

The HFPA’s six-sentence message did little to placate Time’s Up, the Hollywood group that seeks equality and safety in the workplace. Time’s Up sent firmly worded letters to both the awards-voting body and NBCUniversal — which airs the Globes — minutes after the show concluded on Sunday.

In the letters, which were obtained by The Times, the charity said the HFPA’s comments “indicate a fundamental lack of understanding of the depth of the problems at hand.”

“Your stated version of change is cosmetic — find Black people. That is not a solution,” read both letters, which were signed by Time’s Up President and Chief Executive Tina Tchen.

In the note to NBC, Tchen said that her organization wished the HFPA would have “responded tonight with some awareness that the industry-wide discontent with its practices goes far beyond the embarrassing disclosure that they cannot recall the last time it had a Black member.”

A close-up of Emma Watson’s “Times Up” tattoo.

(Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images)

During the Globes, Helen Hoehne, the HFPA’s vice president, acknowledged the members “have our own work to do” and “must have Black journalists in our organization.” Meher Tatna, a former president of the organization, added that the HFPA “must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table, and we are going to make that happen.”

The HFPA officials were responding to a Times investigation published one week ago that delved into the group’s ethical lapses. Days after the story broke, Time’s Up launched a social media campaign pointing out how problematic it is that the 87-member organization has no Black members. In an interview with Variety last week, the HFPA’s Tatna said the group had not had a Black member in over two decades.

Writing to Mark Lazarus and Susan Rovner — NBCUniversal’s top television executives — Tchen said Sunday evening that the reason the “internal workings of a small, exclusive, private association” merited “such broad concern” was because the Globes have such an “outsized impact on the entertainment industry and by extension our overall culture.”

“Much of the credibility of the Golden Globes is drawn from its affiliation with your network,” the letter continued. “NBCUniversal has a reputational interest in fixing these issues. To do so is consistent with your Chairman Brian Roberts’s commitment that the ‘company will try to play an integral role in driving lasting reform.’”

“The Globes,” both letters concluded, “are no longer golden.”

The full letters are below:

February 28, 2021

ATTN: Meher Tatna, Board Chair, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) Ali Sar, President Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) Helen Hoehne, Vice President, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)

Re: #TIMESUPGlobes

Dear Ms. Tatna, Ms. Hoehne and Mr. Sar,

Three years ago, TIME’S UP sparked a movement at the Golden Globes. Pledging to work with allies across the country – across the globe – we demanded workplaces that are free from sexual harassment and to require institutions plagued by inequality to open their doors and create greater opportunities for all. We are at your door now to discuss your workplace.

Yes, the lack of diverse representation in your membership is significant and an embarrassment in its own right. However, it is only one of many concerns of inclusion and respect that have been documented in the LA Times, The New York Times, and most of the industry trade papers. You are aware of every allegation. We have also gathered them on our website.

You must now address the systemic problems within your organization.

The HFPA’s statements tonight and over the last several days indicate a fundamental lack of understanding of the depth of the problems at hand. Your stated version of change is cosmetic – find Black people. That is not a solution.

The problems with the HFPA cannot be addressed simply by a search for new members who meet your self-declared membership criteria. That criteria reflects a fundamental lack of understanding of the problems at hand. Change only occurs from an awareness of larger cultural problems, as well as a long-term commitment to systemic change. The membership of a small, exclusive private association would generally not merit such broad concern. However, it is unquestionable that HFPA’s award show has an outsized impact on the entertainment industry and by extension our overall culture.

We listened tonight and hoped to hear the HFPA respond with some awareness that the industry wide discontent with your organization’s practices goes far beyond what you offered tonight and in the days preceding. What we had hoped you heard was that not having a Black member was a symptom of a problem, not just the problem itself.

At TIME’S UP, we know that the only way to create safe, fair and dignified work for all is to break down the hidden power structures and toxic cultures that block full inclusion and equity.

The Globes are no longer golden. We at TIME’S UP stand ready to work for real change. Sincerely,

Tina Tchen President & CEO

February 28, 2021

ATTN:Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and StreamingSusan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming

Re: #TIMESUPGlobes

Dear Colleagues,

Three years ago, TIME’S UP sparked a movement at the Golden Globes. Pledging to work with allies across the country – across the globe – we demanded workplaces that are free from sexual harassment and to require institutions plagued by inequality to open their doors and create greater opportunities for all.

We must fix the Golden Globes.

Statements made by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) tonight and over the last several days indicate that the organization believes it can make the fix. Nothing shared thus far should make the industry confident that the organization alone will create the solution. If the HFPA understood the social reckoning of these times, it would not have needed an LA Times exposé followed by negative global press and a pummeling on social media to announce a commitment to change. The organization’s stated version of change is cosmetic – find Black people. That is not a solution.

Change only occurs from an awareness of larger cultural problems, as well as a long-term commitment to systemic change. We wish the HFPA had responded tonight with some awareness that the industry-wide discontent with its practices goes far beyond the embarrassing disclosure that they cannot recall the last time it had a Black member.

We won’t list for you in this letter the many concerns that have dogged the HFPA for years. We have compiled those on our website. And there are more that you may not yet be aware of. This goes far beyond the simplistic description we heard tonight of representation and inclusion. The awards process must be free from concerns of racism or misogyny and devoid of the stories of rampant discrimination against filmmakers of color and the discomfort of actors who participate in any event.

The HFPA’s self-declared membership criteria demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the problems at hand. It calls into question the entire mission of the organization itself. The internal workings of a small, exclusive, private association would generally not merit such broad concern. However, it demands change because the HFPA’s award show which airs on your network has an outsized impact on the entertainment industry and by extension our overall culture.

Much of the credibility of the Golden Globes is drawn from its affiliation with your network. NBCUniversal has a reputational interest in fixing these issues. To do so is consistent with your Chairman Brian Roberts’s commitment that the “company will try to play an integral role in driving lasting reform.” As leaders of NBCUniversal television, your power as stakeholders makes you an effective force of change.

At TIME’S UP, we know that the only way to create safe, fair and dignified work for all is to break down the hidden power structures and toxic cultures that block full inclusion and equity.

We recognize the significance of the Golden Globes to the awards season, but a claim to significant real estate is not an exemption from a lack of obligation to the ethical standards that the industry is embracing. To the contrary, it is your obligation. We urge NBCUniversal to lead this effort. We at TIME’S UP stand ready to work for real change.

The Globes are no longer golden. It’s time to act. Sincerely,

Tina Tchen President & CEO