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Negotiations and proposals to make the awards more inclusive and diverse continue.
Negotiations and proposals to make the awards more inclusive and diverse continue. Graphic: The Golden Globes

The Battle for Diversity at the 2022 Golden Globes

New proposals for changes to address diversity and ethics complaints in film industry awards.

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For the past few years, criticism of many of the film industry's awards shows has come from the perspective of the lack of diversity, inclusion and representation of the industry. Every year, expectations are raised about the nominees and winners of the awards, expecting positive "surprises." 

On Monday, May 3, the board of directors of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association  (HFPA), proposed some changes to address the criticisms and complaints they have been receiving about the lack of diversity and ethics among its members. 

From hiring a chief diversity officer, hiring journalists of African descent and expanding the pool of potential candidates, the HFPA has brought to the table some issues that had been on the back burner. One important item is the proposal to add at least 20 new members in 2021 and increase its ranks by 50% in the next 18 months. These changes must be approved by current members and will be discussed at the group's next meeting.

"We have created a roadmap for transformational change in our organization," the board said.

An investigation by the Los Angeles Times noted that there were no people of African descent among the 87 members of the group of foreign entertainment journalists who make up the HFPA. The newspaper raised ethical questions about the relationship between the HFPA and the movie studios, showing how this can influence the choice of Golden Globe nominees and winners.

As a board, they developed recommendations with the help of outside advisors and inclusion experts, and with media partners. "It outlines the sweeping reforms that are critical to our ongoing relationship," NBC said of these recommendations. "We want to be clear: these outlined changes are just the first steps on the long road ahead. We also know that at this existential time for our partnership, change is difficult and sometimes scary," the statement said.

While for HFPA members, these changes mean discomfort and "fear" as the release states, for other players in this attempt at industry reform, the effort is not enough. Tina Tchen, executive director of Time's Up, told The Times, "the May 6 deadline the HFPA set for itself is fast approaching. But all we've seen so far are public statements and actions that reflect a continued lack of understanding of the deep-seated problems at HFPA and the systemic change that needs to occur. The clock is ticking."

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