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Golden Globes group elects new board of directors

2019 Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais rolls out the red carpet in front of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
2019 Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais rolls out the red carpet in front of the Beverly Hilton Hotel during media preview day.
(Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the voting body behind the Golden Globes, elected a new board of directors on Tuesday.

The HFPA said its 85-member organization elected a newly expanded board with 12 internal members, five of whom have never served on the board before. Two-thirds of the new directors are women.

The new board will now select three outside directors who aren’t HFPA members under a new set of reform bylaws recently approved by the group and drafted by the law firm Ropes & Gray.

The move is the HFPA’s first leadership change since the embattled group pledged “transformational change,” earlier this year.

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It follows the association’s vote last month approving a slate of reforms and measures aimed at addressing the controversies that have long dogged the association, as well as to overhaul the organization, expand membership with a focus on diversity and restore its credibility with the entertainment industry.

“Our bylaw vote in early August was an important signal to the industry that we intend to keep our promises on reform,” HFPA President Ali Sar said in a statement. “Today’s election results build this new, stronger governance structure for the HFPA. We are confident that with this new Board — and soon, a new President — accountability, diversity and inclusion will be at the heart of everything we do.”

All new board and committee members will undergo diversity, equity and inclusion and leadership training for their respective roles, the HFPA said. It also announced the appointment of three nonmembers to a credentials committee that will oversee a new accreditation process for HFPA members.

After a Times investigation in February brought to light allegations of financial and ethical lapses and pointed out that none of the HFPA’s then 87 members was Black, the group vowed to make sweeping changes. In March, a contingent of powerful entertainment publicists implemented a boycott, withholding clients from participating in HFPA activities. In May, NBC pulled the plug on the 2022 Golden Globes broadcast after Netflix cut ties with the organization “until more meaningful changes are made.” Amazon, WarnerMedia and Neon, the indie studio behind “Parasite,” followed the streamer.

While the HFPA has made expanding its ranks a focus of its reform efforts, the new board was elected just weeks after the organization voted on its new bylaws and before the admittance of any new members. As a result, the directors were drawn from its existing membership pool — a step that has raised eyebrows among those pressing for significant changes, including the composition of the group’s leadership.

Once formed, and a president selected, the HFPA board will next appoint its first ever CEO. The CEO’s role will include supervising and directing the association’s day-to-day activities and business affairs; they will serve at the board’s discretion for a one-year term, according to the provisions outlined in the association’s new bylaws.

The CEO is part of a new C-suite that will include a chief financial officer, chief diversity officer and a chief human resources officer, signaling the association’s intention to implement a layer of professional management to the nonprofit group that has until now governed and managed itself.


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