Time’s Up slams lack of Black voters for Golden Globes, calls for reforms
Days before Sunday’s Golden Globes telecast, in the wake of a Times investigation that highlighted ethical lapses and the lack of any Black members in the voting body that hands out the awards, Time’s Up on Friday joined those calling for further reforms to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.
A number of prominent figures in Hollywood, including “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, TV producer Shonda Rhimes, comedian Amy Schumer, actresses Jurnee Smollett and Kerry Washington and director J.J. Abrams, shared the hashtag #TimesUpGlobes on social media along with an image noting that the HFPA, the group of international journalists that doles out the Globes, has “not a single Black member out of 87.”
“Old news. New energy,” DuVernay wrote, while Rhimes and others wrote, “A cosmetic fix is not enough.”
“So many crazy things about the @goldenglobes and the Hollywood Foreign press,” tweeted director Judd Apatow, sharing the hashtag, “but this is awful.”
Sterling K. Brown, a Golden Globe winner for NBC’s “This Is Us,” shared a lengthy statement on Instagram noting that his Globes victory was a “dream come true” but also taking the organization to task. “87 people wield a tremendous amount of power,” Brown wrote. “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.”
After the Times investigation and mounting criticism in Hollywood, how will the HFPA and the Golden Globes move forward?
Speaking to The Times on Friday, Schumer — a one-time Globe nominee for the comedy “Trainwreck” and a member of the global board of directors of Time’s Up — said: “There’s really sweet people in the HFPA, but the way they nominate and vote is embarrassing. I very much stand with my sisters of color in calling them out. The HFPA has said it’s making some attempt to change things, but what does that mean? Will they add one Black person? It’s embarrassing.”
Though the HFPA has a number of people of color in its ranks, the spotlight on the lack of Black members in the group further fueled criticism of this year’s Globes nominations, which didn’t include any of the year’s Black-led awards contenders, such as “Da 5 Bloods,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “One Night in Miami,” in the finalists for best picture.
The #TimesUpGlobes campaign follows days of widespread controversy on social media and within Hollywood over the fact that the group behind one of the industry’s most important awards has no Black members.
In a statement to The Times on Thursday, an HFPA representative said the group was determined to recruit Black members to the organization.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
A Times investigation finds that the nonprofit HFPA regularly issues substantial payments to its members in ways that some experts say could skirt IRS guidelines.
After the Time’s Up tweets began to post, the HFPA statement was reposted to the official Golden Globe Awards Twitter account.
In an interview with Variety, former HFPA President Meher Tatna expressed some of her own frustrations as a woman of color in the group.
“The search [for international Black journalists] has not been easy,” Tatna said, “but that doesn’t mean we will give up.” Tatna said the group has not had a Black member in the years since she joined in 2002, and she could not recall the name of any previous Black member.
It is still unclear to what extent the controversy that has swirled around the membership and ethics of the HFPA since The Times’ investigation will affect Sunday’s telecast. The HFPA has said the ethics allegations are unproven and “simply repeat old tropes” about the organization.
The organization said the perception that many members are not serious journalists is “outdated and unfair” and that it is committed to addressing the lack of Black members.
A number of signatories to the original Time’s Up declaration that launched the movement in 2018 are set to take the stage or participate in the virtual Globes ceremony, including Amy Poehler, who is co-hosting with Tina Fey, as well as nominees such as Viola Davis, Regina King and Nicole Kidman and presenters such as Margot Robbie, Salma Hayek and Cynthia Erivo. Jane Fonda, who is set to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, is also an original Time’s Up signatory.
The launch of Time’s Up came in the lead-up to the 2018 Globes, with nearly every woman in attendance at that year’s event wearing black gowns to call attention to the burgeoning #MeToo movement. Asked about any further steps or statement the group might make to push for reforms to the Globes voting body, a Time’s Up representative referred The Times to the HFPA.
As the Time’s Up protest gained momentum, the organization announced via Instagram that it plans to address the issue during Sunday’s show.
Separately, a representative for the HFPA told The Times that the group welcomes the opportunity to meet with Time’s Up and with any prospective Black members interested in joining.
Times staff writer Amy Kaufman contributed to this report.
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