On Sunday, Golden Globes hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey had no problem addressing the elephant in the room… the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of diversity within its membership.
During their split-screen, bicoastal monologue, Fey said, “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made of around 90 international non-Black journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life. We say ‘around 90′ because a couple of them might be ghosts, and it’s rumored that the German member is just a sausage that somebody drew a little face on.”
While Fey called the group “European weirdos,” Poehler said, “This is probably something we should have told you guys earlier: Everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices.”
Poehler added, “Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated. But that happens — that’s, like, their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.”
“And look, we all know that award shows are stupid. The point is, even with stupid things, inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press,” Fey stressed. “I realize, HFPA, maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you gotta change that.”
In response to the backlash for their lack of diversity, HFPA member Helen Hoehne said onstage, “We recognize we have our own work to do. Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.”
Former HFPA president Meher Tatna of India agreed, saying, “We must ensure everyone gets a seat at our table.”
“That means creating an environment where diversity is the norm, not an exception,” Turkish member Ali Sar pointed out, without giving any details of how the HFPA would resolve the issues.
Last week, an HPFA spokesperson said, “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.”
Before the show, many big names took to social media to express their outrage over the association’s lack of diversity. Ellen Pompeo wrote on Instagram, “I think we can all agree that the governing body of the Golden Globe Awards the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has a membership equity issue that is unacceptable. This is a very solvable problem. This is Hollywood, we are master problem solvers. There is a solution here and I have faith we can find it. What we can not do…is leave this problem up to the black community and all our communities of color to fix. This is not their problem, it’s ours.”
Sterling K. Brown wrote on Instagram, “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.”
“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,” Brown continued. “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. When you know better, you must do better. And having a multitude of Black presenters does not absolve you of your lack of diversity.”