Hollywood Foreign Press seeks to add 200 new voters to Golden Globes
The embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association is seeking to add 200 new voters in a bid to get back into the good graces of Hollywood studios and publicists and save the Golden Globe Awards, TheWrap has learned exclusively.
A special meeting for general members was held April 4 to discuss the plan, two people with knowledge of TheWrap said. This plan, if adopted, would bring the number of Golden Globe voters to about 300, which would still be well below that of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has about 9,500 voting members. .
The HFPA plan, spearheaded by interim CEO Todd Boehly, who was at the April 4 meeting, would attract new voters among international journalists recommended by film festival directors, Boehly told members. These journalists would not become full members of the HFPA but would be allowed to vote for the Golden Globe Awards.
The expansion is designed to win support from Netflix, whose members Boehly said insisted on a minimum of 300 voters. The hope is that once the streaming giant and other big companies sign on and start pitching their product for the HFPA and offering press conferences to the organization, the rest of Hollywood will follow. He noted that unless the HFPA takes this step, its future as a viable organization is bleak.
The Golden Globe Awards have been in crisis for more than a year over allegations of corruption, personal dealings and a lack of diversity. Recently, two members of Congress asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the group’s nonprofit status due to the allegations, which led NBC to cancel the airing of the awards this year.
Much of the fate of the Golden Globes and the HFPA hangs in the balance, with little indication of what would lead Hollywood to embrace the awards again. Recently, the band’s longtime publicist, Sunshine Sachs, parted ways with the HFPA.
Boehly, who also owns MRC, the production company that produces the Golden Globes and takes half of NBC’s annual licensing fees, called a special meeting of members to discuss the plan on April 4, sources say.
The organization is expected to put the plan to a vote on April 14, according to people who were briefed on the vote. Some members say they have not yet been notified of this date.
Boehly’s recommendation flies in the face of advice given last year by law firm Ropes & Grey, which a member said told the HFPA it would violate nonprofit rules to have two different categories of members.
At this point, the group is fighting for its existence ahead of the 80th annual Golden Globes, which under normal circumstances would take place in early December 2023. Essentially shunned by Hollywood studios and PR firms following reports of 2021 detailing its ethical lapses and the absence of a single black voter, the HFPA has made a series of changes to its practices but still suffers from a ban by publicists on press conferences and talent attendance at its events.
This year’s Golden Globes were not televised, with NBC suspending its lucrative contract with the HFPA, and its only celebrity component came in the form of video recordings from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. To add insult to injury, the Oscars opening monologue, which the HFPA usually prefers to ignore, promised the Globes were going to be in the In Memoriam reel.
HFPA President Helen Hoehne did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Netflix also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.