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Hollywood Publicists Send Letter to HFPA Demanding ‘Profound and Lasting Change’

Golden Globes 3
Magnus Sundholm/HFPA

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been given notice by Hollywood publicists.

A group of 102 PR firms has signed a letter to the HFPA advising them that they are instructing their clients not work with the HFPA until the organization not only releases a plan to drastically transform the non-profit organization. The letter was sent to the HFPA on Monday night.

“We call on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to swiftly manifest profound and lasting change to eradicate the longstanding exclusionary ethos and pervasive practice of discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption endemic to the HFPA, funded by Dick Clark Productions, MRC, NBCUniversal and Comcast,” the letter reads.

As Variety first reported on Sunday, the letter has been gone through several revisions during the past few days through conference calls and Zoom sessions.

“In the last decade our industry has faced a seismic reckoning and begun to address its failure to reflect and honor the diversity of our community, yet we have witnessed no acceptance of responsibility, accountability or action from the HFPA, even as systemic inequity and egregious behavior are allowed to continue,” the letter reads. “We collectively and unequivocally agree that transformative change in your organization and its historical practices is essential and entirely achievable. We want to be part of the solution.

“To reflect how urgent and necessary we feel this work is, we cannot advocate for our clients to participate in HFPA events or interviews as we await your explicit plans and timeline for transformational change.”

Sources close to NBC and Dick Clark Productions, which has long standing contracts to produce and broadcast the Globes, tell Variety that the network is hopeful the HFPA is serious about transforming itself. “If not, then we have to discuss the future of the Globes,” one source said.

Time’s Up released a statement commending the publicists for holding the HFPA accountable, saying: “We are proud to be in solidarity with the voices of over 100 Hollywood PR firms in calling for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to radically transform the Golden Globes. We agree that anything less than transparent, meaningful change will no longer be acceptable. The entire world is watching.”

The HFPA has long come under scrutiny for many of its practices. An investigative report by the Los Angeles Times last month detailed and questioned the non-profit group compensation practices for the members involved in awards judging and other association functions. The HFPA for years has been routinely criticizing for taking part in lavish junkets and accepting other perks from studios and networks in the hunt for Golden Globe trophies.

In the wake of the Times report, the HFPA vowed to address the issue of diversity in its ranks and questions about who qualifies for membership. On March 9, Times Up released a series of recommendations to the HFPA, including the resignation of all current HFPA members. Hours later, the HFPA announced it hired expert diversity advisors Dr. Shaun Harper and Ropes & Gray’s Alex Rene, Morey Ward and James Down help change the organization.

Read the full letter below.

As publicists we collectively represent the vast majority of artists in the entertainment industry.

We call on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to swiftly manifest profound and lasting change to eradicate the longstanding exclusionary ethos and pervasive practice of discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption endemic to the HFPA, funded by Dick Clark Productions, MRC, NBCUniversal and Comcast.

In the last decade our industry has faced a seismic reckoning and begun to address its failure to reflect and honor the diversity of our community, yet we have witnessed no acceptance of responsibility, accountability or action from the HFPA, even as systemic inequity and egregious behavior are allowed to continue. We collectively and unequivocally agree that transformative change in your organization and its historical practices is essential and entirely achievable. We want to be part of the solution.

To reflect how urgent and necessary we feel this work is, we cannot advocate for our clients to participate in HFPA events or interviews as we await your explicit plans and timeline for transformational change.

While we stand ready to support your good faith efforts, please know that anything less than transparent, meaningful change that respects and honors the diversity and dignity of our clients, their colleagues and our global audience will result in immediate and irreparable damage to the relationship between our agencies, our clients and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and those who sanction the institutional inequity and insular culture that currently define it.

The eyes of the industry and those who support it are watching. Respectfully,

42West
Advantage PR
Agence Contact
align Public Relations
American Entertainment Marketing (AEM)
Anderson Group Public Relations
Array
Ascend Public Relations Group
BazanPR
Bespoke Publicity
Carol Marshall Public Relations
Cassandra Butcher PR & Marketing
Cinematic Red PR
CLD Communications
Core PR Group
DawBell
DDA
Detail PR
E2W Collective
Elzer & Associates
Flash Forward Publicity
Forefront Media
Full Coverage Communications
Guttman Associates Public Relations
Heidi Schaeffer Public Relations
Herring PR
Hive Collective
ICON PR
ID
Image Management PR
Imprint
Independent Public Relations
Indie PR
Integrated PR
JCPR
JDS
Jill Fritzo Public Relations
Jonas PR
JONESWORKS
Joy Fehily Management + Consulting
Katrina Wan PR
Katz Public Relations
Kovert Creative
LongstreetWorks
LSG Public Relations
Luna Entertainment
Main Stage Public Relations
Marleah Leslie & Associates
Marque PR
McClure & Associates Public Relations
Meghan Prophet Public Relations
MLC PR
MPRM Communications
MRC Publicity and Marketing
Nancy Seltzer & Associates
Narrative
NMA PR
Patricola Public Relations
Paula Woods Consultants
Persona PR
Personal PR
Pinnacle Public Relations
Platform Public Relations
MG-Platform Media Group
Polaris PR
Portrait PR
PR Machine
Premier
PRStudio USA
Presse Public Relations
Principal Communications Group
Prism Media Group
Prosper PR
Public Eye Communications
Rebel PR
Red Sea Entertainment Relevant
Relevant

Rogers & Cowan/PMK
Rosenfield Media Group
Rowe PR
Schure Media Group
Sechel PR
Shelter PR
Slash Agency
Slate PR
Strategic Heights Media
Strategic Public Relations
SYStrategies & PR
TCOPR
Tencer & Associates
The Chamber Group
The Collins Jackson Agency
The Initiative Group
The Lede Company
The Oriel Company
The Samonte Group
True Public Relations
TS Collective
VanIden Public Relations
Viewpoint
Vision PR
Wolf Kasteler
ZTPR