After a series of allegations against the Hollywood Foreign Press, Netflix decided to cut ties with the group last Thursday.
Over the last few years, there have been allegations of sexism, harassment, and discrimination within the HFPA ranks. The details mounted up, culminating in recent bombshells about the organization's lack of diversity, and Netflix walked away from the group of critics last week.
“Like many in our industry, we’ve been waiting for today’s announcement in the hope that you would acknowledge the breadth of issues facing the HFPA and provide a clear roadmap for change,” Netflix's co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote in a letter Thursday to the HFPA’s Leadership Committee.
Netflix said until the HFPA properly deals with diversity and inclusion, they don't want to work with them. The HFPA has reached back out to Netflix, sending an open letter asking them to come back.
HFPA president Ali Sar sent the letter to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos.
You can read the entire letter on The Wrap, but the main takeaway is this quote: "We would love to meet with you and your team so we can review the very specific actions that are already in the works. An open dialogue would help to ensure that we are addressing these concerns as quickly as possible."
They also promise a plan to improve diversity, saying, "In our plan, we committed to, at a minimum, 50% growth in 18 months, not 36 months, and to reevaluating the size of our membership after the first 18 months as we grow our staff and can accommodate more members. We have also committed to expanding our professional staff."
These are all nice words, but they are nothing new. Netflix has already addressed the HFPA's plan and thought it wasn't good enough. I'm unsure what they think a letter will do to persuade Sarandos. It seems like only seismic change will do much to improve their standing.
We covered the idea that 100 companies have already come forward to ask the HFPA to reform, but until we see the results and not the promises, I think the HFPA will continue to suffer. Today saw more backlash, with NBC cancelling next year's awards telecast, and actor Tom Cruise returning his three awards.
We'll keep an eye on this as it develops.