April 22, 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, which 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.”

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.”