Scarlett Johansson, Tom Cruise take stance against HFPA
NBC has also decided to not broadcast the HFPA-backed Golden Globe Awards in 2022
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been at the receiving end of a lot of bad press over the past few weeks. An investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed that the HFPA had a stark lack of diversity, specifically no Black members, and there were ethical questions related to financial benefits to some of its members too.
Actors Tom Cruise and Scarlett Johansson joined the voices of resentment against the HFPA. CNN revealed that Cruise has, in fact, returned his Golden Globe Awards to the HFPA.
Incidentally, the broadcast network NBC decided to not broadcast the HFPA-backed Golden Globe Awards in 2022. "We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes," NBC told CNN Business.
Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson urged the entertainment community to take a step back from participating in HFPA events. In a statement to Variety, Scarlett said, "As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows. In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences."
She continued, "The HFPA is an organisation that was legitimised by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition, and the industry followed suit. Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organisation, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole."
Other big players to express displeasure with the developments at HFPA were Amazon Studios and Netflix. While Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke urged the HFPA to have a "sincere and significant resolution before moving forward," Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos said that the streaming giant would not participate with the Globes unless the group pledges to reform itself.
Apart from these names, almost 100 PR firms representing Hollywood announced that they would “continue to refrain from any HFPA sanctioned events, including press conferences, unless and until these issues are illuminated in detail with a firm commitment to a timeline.”