HFPA Members Approve New Bylaws Addressing Ethics, Membership


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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Following months of criticism over a lack of diversity among its ranks and questions about ethical integrity, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced today that its members have approved new bylaws aimed at restructuring the organization behind the annual Golden Globe Awards.

“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,'' Ali Sar, HFPA board president, said in a statement. “All of these promised reforms can serve as industry benchmarks and allow us to once again partner meaningfully with Hollywood moving forward.''

The bylaws include guidelines for membership, ethics, governance and diversity/equity/inclusion.

In general, the membership bylaws vastly expand eligibility, while also requiring existing members to be re-accredited on an annual basis. The organization on Thursday opened a new membership application portal on its website.

New ethics bylaws bar members from accepting “promotional materials or gifts from studios, publicists, actors, directors or others associated with motion pictures and television programs.''

Meanwhile, all members will have to undergo regular diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions. The organization will hire a new CEO, chief financial officer, human resources officer and a chief diversity officer.

The HFPA board will have 15 directors -- 12 active HFPA members and three non-members.

“These new bylaws bring accountability, inclusion and transparency within our association, and today's vote is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our members to reflect, educate themselves, and build a better organization,'' said Helen Hoehne, vice president of the HFPA. “But we know the hard work starts now, and we invite our partners throughout the industry to join us in our mission to bring Hollywood to the world in a more inclusive and diverse manner.''

Approval of the bylaws is seen as a key step in the roughly 80-member organization's effort to re-gain traction in Hollywood. The organization fell out of favor revelations that it has historically lacked any Black members. It has also been plagued with questions about ethical integrity through acceptance of gifts and other benefits from production companies.

The revelations -- made in a series of Los Angeles Times articles -- prompted various celebrities, publicists and production houses – including Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia -- to back away from the HFPA and the Globes. NBC, meanwhile, announced that it would not broadcast the 2022 Golden Globes.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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