Scarlett Johansson has joined a growing list of Hollywood heavyweights who have spoken out against the organisation that oversees the Golden Globes, claiming that members of the organisation have made remarks to her that “bordered on sexual harassment.”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has been chastised for its lack of diversity and the fact that it accepts gifts from potential nominees.
Netflix and Amazon also broke ties with the organisation last week, citing an upcoming vote by the notoriously secretive organisation to accept multiple diversity plans.
Johansson, who has been nominated for five Golden Globes, called on the industry to distance itself from the HFPA before serious changes are implemented.
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, she said, “As an actor promoting a film, one is required to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows.”
“In the past, this has always included having to deal with sexist questions and comments from HFPA representatives that bordered on sexual harassment.”
It is for this reason that I have declined to attend their conferences for several years.
“The HFPA is an organisation that was legitimised by Harvey Weinstein and others to gain traction for Academy recognition, and the industry followed suit.”
“I think it is time for us to take a step back from the HFPA and reflect on the significance and strength of solidarity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”
The Golden Globes have been the subject of intense scrutiny this year after an investigation by The Los Angeles Times reported that none of the 87 international entertainment journalists who make up the HFPA are black.
The Los Angeles Times has addressed long-standing ethical concerns about the HFPA’s strong ties to Hollywood studios, which might affect Golden Globe nominees and winners.
The scandal engulfed the Golden Globes ceremony in February, one of the big Hollywood award shows preceding the Academy Awards in April.
The HFPA board of directors wrote to its representatives last week, suggesting multiple measures to diversify the organization’s roster, including appointing a chief diversity officer, focusing on retaining black journalists, and broadening the pool of applicants.
The announcement hasn’t stopped high-profile actors from criticising it, including Mark Ruffalo, who won a Golden Globe this year for Best Actor in a Limited Series for HBO’s I Know This Much Is True.
Ruffalo chastised the HFPA for its aversion to reform, saying he couldn’t be “proud or pleased” to receive the award.
“It’s disheartening to see the HFPA, which has risen to prominence and profited handsomely from their association with filmmakers and actors, resist the reform that many of the communities who have become most disenfranchised by their culture of secrecy and exclusion are asking of them,” Ruffalo said.
“Now is the time to take action and make amends for the mistakes of the past.
“Honestly, as a recent Golden Globe winner, I can’t say I’m proud or pleased to have received this honour.”
- Scarlett Johansson: Zanini