Joining a wave of Hollywood stars who’ve spoken out against the lack of a single Black member in the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the Screen Actors Guild issued a disparaging statement Sunday before the HPFA’s biggest event of the year, the Golden Globes Awards.
“SAG-AFTRA is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow creative industry guilds and unions, industry allies and all inclusion advocates in calling on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to establish a more inclusive membership that truly reflects the extraordinary diversity and variety of the global media industry they purport to represent,” the statement read. “Without inclusive membership, they miss the opportunity to truly honor creativity and excellence among a vast and dynamic global industry of talented storytellers and stories. It’s a big, diverse world and if the HFPA is to remain relevant in today’s media environment, it must fully embrace inclusion among its membership and across its operations.
“From Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement to our own diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, we fight every day for a more equitable and just society. By now we all should understand this fundamental point: It is basic human decency to ensure inclusion on set, on screen, in front of and behind the camera, in boardrooms and in the very fabric of our everyday lives. SAG-AFTRA urges our industry’s institutions to step up and hold themselves accountable for true, meaningful change in all aspects of their work. As our colleagues across the industry say Time’s Up. The time for change is now.”
The Producer’s Guild and the Writers Guild of America West took to social media to issue their own statements using similar language to those issued by Time’s Up members Ava DuVernay, Kerry Washington, Shonda Rhimes and JJ Abrams.
Last week, L.A. Times reporters Stacy Perman and Josh Rottenberg published an investigation into the HFPA revealing that, in addition to having no Black members, the 87-member organization that votes for the Golden Globes uses the ceremony to garner cash, perks and access. The reporting revealed that relatively few members of the HFPA actually write regularly for overseas outlets and that many are paid by the HFPA to write for its website and sit on its committees.
Norman Lear, who will receive the special Carol Burnett Award during the Golden Globes ceremony, tweeted a video message Sunday afternoon with the #timesupglobes hashtag. “It’s on everybody’s mind,” he said of the dearth of Black members. “I’m eager to hear what they have to say about it.”
Lear’s video followed tweets by stars such as Ellen Pompeo, who posted her own open letter to the HPFA: “I would kindly ask all my white colleagues in this industry … to pull up, show up and get this issue resolved. Let’s show our Black colleagues that we care and are willing to do the work to right the wrongs that we created.”