Embattled HFPA announces reforms to bylaws, membership

Entertainment

FILE – Event signage appears above the red carpet at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Thursday announced reforms to its bylaws and an overhaul of its membership process in a bid to diversify its ranks and potentially restore the heavily criticized Golden Globes. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Thursday announced reforms to its bylaws and an overhaul of its membership process in a bid to diversify its ranks and potentially restore the heavily criticized Golden Globes.

The embattled 84-member press association voted 63 to 19 in favor of the new measures, including the election of a new board that will for the first time also include several non-members. The HFPA, which has long been populated by little-known international journalists who seldom publish, also voted to expand its membership.

“Three months ago, we made a promise to commit to transformational change and with this vote we kept the last and most significant promise in reimagining the HFPA and our role in the industry,” said Ali Sar, HFPA board president. “All of these promised reforms can serve as industry benchmarks and allow us to once again partner meaningfully with Hollywood moving forward.”

Numerous reports about ethical lapses and a recent voting membership that included no Black members prompted an industry-wide rebuke of the Globes earlier this year. Studios and stars said they would boycott the Globes, Tom Cruise returned his three awards, prominent public relations firms said they would cut off talent from the group, and Time’s Up pressured the HFPA to profoundly change. NBC, the longtime broadcast home to the awards, said it would not air a 2022 Globes.

NBC on Thursday said it was “encouraged” by the amended bylaws.

“This marks a positive step forward and signals the HFPA’s willingness to do the work necessary for meaningful change,” the network said in a statement.

The new bylaws go into effect immediately. A new board of directors will be elected by early September, the HFPA said. The application process for new members also went live online Thursday. The HFPA’s once opaque membership process will be more transparent, with a selection committee composed of a majority of non-members. Other changes include diversity training and a new ban on members receiving gifts from studios and others.

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