Golden Globes: Ava DuVernay spotlights 'widely known' lack of black representation

Bribery and ethics of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have also been called into question

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13:  Director Ava DuVernay attends the European Premiere of 'A Wrinkle In Time' at BFI IMAX on March 13, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images)
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This week, it was revealed that there are no black journalists among the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

With less than a week until the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards, the Los Angeles Times published two exposés, questioning the voting ethics of the HFPA. This comes after a number of black-led films and shows were snubbed in the 2021 Golden Globes nominations.

The Hollywood Reporter tweeted a story about the exposé, writing: "LA Times reveals HFPA has zero black members, raises new questions about ethics of Golden Globe voters."

Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay replied to the tweet, taking the HFPA to task, writing: "Reveals? As in, people are acting like this isn’t already widely known? For YEARS?"

Regina King, who is nominated for a Golden Globe this year for her direction on One Night in Miami, replied with a "knowing" Drake gif, and DuVernay responded with another gif, which read, "Those are the facts".

The exposé also suggests that voters are bribed with "junkets in exotic locales", explaining that the journalists are "put up in five-star hotels and, as Globes nominations near, lavished with gifts, dinners and star-studded parties".

Emily in Paris is being used as an example. The Netflix show received middle-of-the-road reviews, but a number of journalists were invited a to a Paris junket, and now it is up for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, and a Best Actress nomination for star Lily Collins.

However, the acclaimed I May Destroy You by Michaela Coel, one of the most acclaimed television series of 2020, failed to pick up a single nomination.

At the time, journalist Lydia Polgreen said: "The total freeze out of I May Destroy You and Michaela Coel is proof that the Golden Globes deserve zero attention and have zero connection to the actual culture."

Following interviews with more than 50 people who work in the industry and are a mix of current and former HFPA members, the evidence revealed that the organisation is "struggling to shake its reputation as a group whose awards or nominations can be influenced with expensive junkets and publicity swag".

The HFPA has said it is "committed to addressing" its lack of black members and the accusations of bribery within the group.

An HFPA representative told the Los Angeles Times: "We do not control the individual votes of our members … we seek to build cultural understanding through film and TV fand recognise how the power of creative storytelling can educate people around the world to issues of race, representation and orientation."

The Golden Globes are scheduled to take place on Sunday in Los Angeles at 5pm (PST) and New York at 8pm (EST). It will also air in the UAE from 5am (GST) on March 1.