The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization behind the Golden Globe Awards, has approved a new set of bylaws in response to the criticisms that have mounted against its practices this year. The new laws are set to reform the organization, most notably in recruiting a more diverse group of members and addressing the ethical issues that it has contended with in recent years, Variety is reporting.
The updated set of policies follows the Los Angeles Times exposé that was published on February 21, a week before this year’s ceremony was held on February 28. The article explored the HFPA’s demographics, as there’s limited diversity and representation, including an entire lack of Black members.
The change in the organization’s bylaws also comes in the wake of Time’s Up. The movement against sexual abuse and harassment helped lead more than 100 PR firms to call for more consideration in how the HFPA conducts its business with its entertainment industry colleagues.
Talent, studios and networks followed suit by saying they wouldn’t work with the organization again until meaningful change are enacted. In solidarity with its Hollywood colleagues, NBC, which was the longtime broadcaster of the Golden Globes, said it won’t air the ceremony next year.
After the publishing of the Los Angeles Times’ article, the 85-member HFPA revealed in May its timeline of overhaul its rules and regulations. It stated that it will be creating five pillars of change, in accountability, membership, inclusion, good governance/ethics and transparency.
The new bylaws will now lead to an election cycle for a new, expanded Board of Directors, including outside independent directors, which will be elected by early next month. There will also be a re-accreditation process for all existing members.
All members will also have to adhere to a stricter code of conduct. The updated code of conduct will include forbidding members from accepting gifts from their industry colleagues, including those who work at studios, production companies, PR firms and talent agencies, in exchange for votes for their talent at the Golden Globes.
Speaking about the demand for change in the organization’s practices by Hollywood talent, HFPA’s board president, Ali Sar, said “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. All of these promised reforms can serve as industry benchmarks and allow us to once again partner meaningfully with Hollywood moving forward.”
Dick Clark Productions, which serves as a producer on the Golden Globes, is supporting the HFPA’s new changes. The television production company released a statement, saying “We applaud the adoption of new bylaws, and the important policy revisions over the last few months, as the HFPA strives for reform. We look forward to seeing continued urgency, dedication and positive change in order to create a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and transparent future.”
NBC has also released a statement in response to the organization’s commitment to enact change. The network said, “We’re encouraged by the passage of the amended bylaws. This marks a positive step forward and signals the HFPA’s willingness to do the work necessary for meaningful change.”