TIME’S UP Releases List of Recommendations to Transform Golden Globes
TIME’S UP Releases List of Recommendations to Transform Golden Globes
Below is a set of recommendations that TIME’S UP believes are necessary in order for Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Dick Clark Productions, NBCUniversal, and Comcast to radically transform the Golden Globes. For press inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 28, 2021
Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Dick Clark Productions, NBCUniversal, and Comcast
As an organization born in the entertainment industry with a mission to ensure safe, fair, and dignified work for all, we are writing with a set of recommendations for how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) – funded and enabled by Dick Clark Productions, NBCUniversal, and Comcast – can rid itself of the institutional racism, sexism, disrespect, alleged corrupt financial dealings, and other unethical practices that respected news outlets have documented and reported for years.
These changes must be transparent for all to see, and action taken quickly, so that a new HFPA can be in place well in advance of the start of the 2022 awards cycle.
The measures laid out below are the start of the real work that needs to be urgently implemented to achieve the “transformational change” you have promised:
MEMBERSHIP + GOVERNANCE
- Immediate change in the current management and board must be outlined. The existing management and board of HFPA have already demonstrated that they do not understand these issues. However, we recognize the need to have corporate governance mechanisms in place to implement reforms quickly. To address this, HFPA must outline and commit to a plan to move to an entirely new board that will hire new management. This plan should be announced immediately and include the following:
- The current management and board must immediately empower outside independent counsel to implement changes to membership criteria, bylaws, and policies, and select new members for HFPA.
- This outside independent counsel will then oversee the election of an entirely new board by the newly constituted membership.
- The new board will then hire new management.
- While this process is taking place, actions by the existing board and management must be overseen and approved by the outside independent counsel.
- All existing members of HFPA must resign and can reapply for membership under the new criteria after one year.
- Membership criteria must be reformed. The insular country club membership criteria and process must fundamentally change, including a dramatic expansion of the number of members under new criteria:In order to qualify for membership and remain in good standing:
- The applicant must be registered with the Motion Picture Association in the international directory for at least one year prior to their application.
- The applicant may reside in any location.
- The applicant must have at least five years of credible journalistic experience and provide proof of at least 30 pieces of published coverage (broadcast, print, online, and/or radio) from within the last five years.
- In order to remain in good standing with the organization, members must publish at least 10 pieces of coverage (broadcast, print, online, and/or radio) per calendar year to retain voting eligibility.
- The number of HFPA members must expand to a minimum of 300,
in order to represent the full diversity of global entertainment journalists. This minimum should be easily met given the removal of prior exclusionary criteria and voting process.
- Applicants for this year will be reviewed and approved by independent outside counsel. After this year, HFPA will implement a transparent process for voting on membership nominees and will require that any members with a potential conflict, such as a nominee who is also a journalist in the same territory as an existing member, must be recused from voting on that nominee.
- HFPA will publicly disclose the names, country representation, and the diversity demographics of its membership at the close of this year’s membership process and every year thereafter.
- Lifetime memberships will no longer exist. New members will have voting rights for 10 years, after which they will need to reapply for membership.
ETHICS & SAFETY PROTECTIONS
- HFPA must develop and publish anti-harassment, anti-bullying, and anti-discrimination policies that will provide protections to employees, members, partners, contractors, and participants in all HFPA events, including the Golden Globes.
- This should include multiple methods for reporting violations, a process for fair, thorough and independent investigations, and a range of penalties for any violations, including dismissal from HFPA.
- The whistleblower process referenced in the HFPA’s statement must include the ability to make confidential reports about violations of the above policies as well as violations of any HFPA policies.
- HFPA must develop and publish ethics policies to govern its own members and leadership, including but not limited to:
- A ban on members of HFPA receiving payment from anyone, including HFPA, for participating in HFPA, including participating in decision-making regarding awards
- Members may not accept any gifts, favors, or consideration of any kind, regardless of its value based on their HFPA membership
- Members must pay for all of their own expenses, including but not limited to travel costs to festivals, junkets, premieres, set visits, and other events
- Members must engage in a professional manner, which includes not asking for autographs, not requesting personal cell phone numbers of filmmakers and talent, and not bullying and/or harassing – sexually or otherwise – members of the industry
NOMINATIONS AND AWARDS
- HFPA must adopt, publish, and enforce strict regulations governing the conduct of HFPA members, content distributors, publicists, and others, concerning the campaign boundaries for promotion of eligible films and T.V. shows that closely mirror comparable events (such as AMPAS). This includes screenings, special events, (e)mails, lobbying, among other efforts. Reporting violations of these regulations should be included in the whistleblower process.
- The existing categories for awards and criteria for inclusion in those categories must be reviewed to eliminate any discriminatory criteria and new rules must be enforced with consistency.
- There must be consistency applied to the categorization of films and T.V. series. The HFPA must relinquish its ability to change any award entry by a vote of two-thirds or more. If any changes to a submission are necessary for clerical errors or are suggestions by the HFPA, final changes must be approved by the original submitter.
- For this year, as the reforms in membership and leadership are taking place, review of the categories and the nominations process will be overseen by an outside, independent industry expert or group of experts.
- After this year, the HFPA must transparently report on its categories, its criteria, and its decision-making process for nominations.
- HFPA will forgo exclusive HFPA press conferences. Simultaneously, NBCUniversal must commit to no longer organizing exclusive HFPA press conferences
- Members must be required to make every effort possible to attend a filmmaker’s screening. There can be no more stories of not showing up to the screenings of artists of color.
- In order to participate in final voting, HFPA members must certify that they’ve watched at least 80% of the nominated projects.
- The date of the Golden Globes must not occur during the pre-nomination window of the Academy Awards. The timing of the Golden Globes as, not only the first major award show, but coming even before nominations are made for the Oscars, has given the Globes an outsized influence on later awards and exacerbated the effects of the institutional racism and sexism of the Globes. This can be minimized by moving the schedule for the Globes, starting with 2022, as schedules are rearranged post-pandemic.
The issues with the HFPA and the Golden Globes are not new, yet have gone unaddressed by HFPA, Dick Clark Productions, NBCUniversal, and Comcast for years. It is long past time now, in 2021, to boldly address change and to make the 2022 Golden Globes fundamentally different.
We recognize change of this magnitude is ambitious. But fans, artists, and executives alike are watching and waiting for your commitment to the values we all seek to represent inside the industry and on behalf of its achievements to the world.
We look forward to hearing your commitments by your designated May 6 deadline.