NBC, which has broadcast the Golden Globes for the past 25 years and has a contract in place to continue doing so through 2026, has finally spoken out about the lack of Black members in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. As revealed in a Los Angeles Times exposé that ran in February (and acknowledged in a pithy segment during this year’s ceremony), there is not a single black member among the current 87 HFPA members, nor has there been for 20 years.
“Our perceived silence on this should not be equated with apathy or a lack of concern,” said NBCUniversal executive vice president and chief diversity officer Craig Robinson, in a new Los Angeles Times piece. “We are taking these issues very seriously, and we also understand our role and the importance of our role in encouraging HFPA to make what we deem to be necessary changes — and we are using that influence.” Robinson told the Times that NBCUniversal execs began a series of meeting with the HFPA days after this year’s Globes. “During multiple meetings, Robinson said, the NBCUniversal delegation has stressed that the show’s viability depends on the group’s efforts to reform,” reads the report.
NBCUniversal’s role that Robinson referenced, by the way, is to the tune of nearly $60 million—in 2018, NBC cut a deal with the HFPA and Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Globes telecast, to pay that amount annually through 2026. (Previously, NBC paid $21 million a year.) This despite, as the Times piece points out, the awards show’s lack of profitability for the network. In 2020, says the Times, the Globes made NBC $47.5 million, down from $51.9 million the year before. The piece points out the benefits beyond the financial that airing the show gives NBC “including boosting the exposure of NBCUniversal’s celebrity cable channel E!, and its red carpet show, and promoting other programming on NBC and the company’s other cable channels.”
The HFPA announced earlier this month that it was hiring a diversity and equity expert to address the lack of Black journalists in its membership. This week, the association said its membership would expand to at least 100 with an anticipated 13 Black members to join. Earlier this week, The Hollywood Reporter printed that over 100 PR firms signed a letter threatening to withhold their talent from the HFPA if the association doesn’t get its shit together. “We cannot advocate for our clients to participate in HFPA events or interviews as we await your explicit plans and timeline for transformational change,” reads part of the letter.
In other GlobesSoWhite news, the Wrap has dropped a bombshell exclusive in which sources close to the Black-led projects Bridgerton, Queen & Slim, and Girls Trip claim they were denied requests to hold press conferences for the HFPA. Ultimately, none of said projects received nominations. Ava DuVernay tweeted her experience at a press conference for her Central Park Five miniseries for Netflix, When They See Us, that was attended by the HFPA: