Stars like Sterling K. Brown, Amber Tamblyn and Ellen Pompeo are speaking up about the lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ranks, namely the fact that the organization does not currently have a single Black member.
This wave of criticism comes ahead of Sunday’s 78th Annual Golden Globes ceremony. HFPA board chair Meher Tatna told Variety Friday that the organization of international journalists has not had any Black members in at least 20 years.
On Friday afternoon, #TimesUp posted an image of a cracked Golden Globe statue to social media, featuring the message, “Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Not a single Black member out of 87.” The organization captioned the post, “A cosmetic fix isn’t enough,” and the added hashtag “#TimesUpGlobes.”
Kerry Washington, Jurnee Smollett, Amy Schumer, Sean Hayes, Simon Pegg, DeVon Franklin, America Ferrera, Mark Duplass, Courtney Kemp, Tom Verica, Busy Phillips, Dakota Johnson, Patton Oswalt, Laura Dern and Alyssa Milano were among the celebs to repost the image and caption. Ellen Barkin asked, “What price HFPA?” in her post. Rashida Jones took to her Instagram story, adding, “Representation Matters. A cosmetic fix isn’t gonna cut it.”
“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” actor Tamblyn wrote in her Instagram post: “The complete exclusion of Black women and Black people in general from the entire membership of the HFPA which votes for The Golden Globes is unacceptable. We call on one of our country’s biggest and brightest award show ceremonies to ensure the future of the Golden Globes’ leadership represents the content, culture, and creative work of women of ALL kinds, not just white women, and of Black voices in general, both as nominees and as members instrumental in the nominating process. A cosmetic fix just isn’t enough. The world is watching.”
On Saturday evening, Pompeo went one step further, penning an open letter to the HFPA and white Hollywood, emphasizing that the responsibility to create change not be on Black people or other communities of color and asking her white colleagues to “to pull up, show up and get this issue resolved.”
“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,” Pompeo’s post began.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Pompeo concluded: “I would kindly ask all my white colleagues, an industry that we love and has granted us enormous privilege…. 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 we have created. Now is not the time to be silent. We have a real action item here let’s get it done.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” director Olivia Wilde chimed in on Instagram, saying: “Truly absurd. I support and celebrate all the GG nominees, and their hard work for their craft, but when it comes to this institution, it’s time for the HFPA to commit to some deep, structural evolution.”
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who became the first Black woman nominated for Best Director by the HFPA in 2015, captioned her post, “Old news. New energy.” DuVernay also retweeted a 2017 post from Jada Pinkett Smith, who had posted, “I have so much to say on why [her ‘Girls Trip’ co-star] Tiffany Haddish was not nominated for a Globe…but I wont.”
Viola Davis, who is nominated for a Golden Globe this year for her performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” shared a quote from author Shannon L. Adler with her post: “Telling the world you’re trying is not doing.”
“The journey of a Black artist is littered with obstacles in creating, developing and being acknowledged for our work,” Davis added. “If we continue to keep silent, the younger generation of artists will have the exact same load to carry. No more excuses.”
Other prolific creators speaking up include Damon Lindelof, J.J. Abrams (and his Bad Robot company) and Shonda Rhimes, who wrote, “Enough is enough” in her post. Judd Apatow added, “So many crazy things about the @goldenglobes and the Hollywood Foreign press but this is awful.”
“Love & Basketball” and “The Old Guard” filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood reposted the image with additional sentiment, writing, “No excuses (there are none). No apologies (we don’t believe you). No empty gestures (cosmetic fixes are not enough). Change the game.”
Natasha Lyonne called the situation, “Flagrant and unacceptable. It’s a wrap on all of this. Deeply transparent omissions to the incredible work on display this season. And many, many seasons past. Enough of this.”
“Never Have I Ever” star Poorna Jagannathan pointed out the fact that HBO’s “I May Destroy You” didn’t receive any nominations in her post.
“If you, like me, found it incomprehensible that @imaydestroyyou wasn’t nominated for a single Globe, now you know why,” Jagannathan wrote. “I’ve lost so much respect for #hfpa and until they change drastically, they hold zero credibility.”
Brown, a Golden Globe winner and two-time nominee, posted a different photo to Instagram, writing a lengthy and thoughtful caption.
“To be nominated for a Golden Globe is a tremendous honor. To win one is a dream come true. It can affect the trajectory of an individual’s career…it certainly has with mine,” Brown began.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
“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,” the actor concluded. “When you know better, you must do better. And having a multitude of Black presenters does not absolve you of your lack of diversity. This is your moment to do the right thing. It is my hope that you will.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association posted a statement in response to the criticism: “We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, tv, and the artists inspiring and educating them. 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.”
The HFPA added that the matter would be addressed in Sunday’s broadcast.