Here's the headline: there are 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, according to the Times, and none of them are Black. In the past, the HFPA has come under intense scrutiny for its ignoring of Black films and actors. Knowing they have a lack of diversity at their core only makes these snubs sting more.
It also is another problem in the HFPA's long list of problems. From allegations of bribery to various other scandals. The HFPA allows members to receive perks from studios and production companies campaigning for awards.
This year we saw Da 5 Bloods, Judas and the Black Messiah, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,and the United States vs. Billie Holiday, and not nominating the critically acclaimed TV series I May Destroy You, which features a Black cast, all snubbed in categories.
Meanwhile, a show like Emily in Paris was nominated, which aside from being a viral sensation, also had their parent company (Paramount TV) fly 30 HFPA members to Paris in 2019 to come to set to check out production. They were treated to "a two-night stay at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel, where rooms currently start at about $1,400 a night, and a news conference and lunch at the Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum filled with amusement rides dating to 1850 where the show was shooting," the Times reported.
Sounds pretty nice.
Members are also paid extraordinary well. The HFPA is supposed to be a nonprofit, but the Times report found out five board offers were paid between $63,433 and $135,957.
If you wrote for the HFPA website or served on a committee you got paid a lot of money on top of that. Two dozen members who are on the foreign film viewing committee each received $3,465 to watch foreign films last month. If you were lucky enough to be on the travel committee, you earned $2,310 a month. Members of a film festival committee earn $1,100 a month, and members of an archives committee earn $2,200.
Oh, and members who moderate press conferences receive $1,200 a month.
This money is pulled from a studio slush fund that gets higher and higher every year, thanks to a large pool of money generated from the organization's TV deal with NBC.
To be in the HFPA, you must be a Los Angeles-based journalist and provide coverage for media outlets in a country or countries outside of the United States. They have a cap and try to keep people in the fold thanks to the perks.
It's akin to a secret organization, and it's in charge of one of the most famous awards shows.
What are your thoughts on the situation?