Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo speak out against Golden Globes organiser

The 'Avengers' actors join Netflix and Amazon to criticise the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after the organisation announced sweeping reforms

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, April 24 included Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Danai Gurira and Dave Bautista ("Avengers: Infinity War"), and musical guest Bleachers. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images)
MARK RUFFALO, SCARLETT JOHANSSON

Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo are the latest stars to speak out against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after they announced sweeping reforms to their organisation.

In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, the Black Widow star recalled facing "sexist questions and remarks" from HFPA members "that bordered on sexual harassment."

Quote
Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organisation, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA

"It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences," she said. "The HFPA is an organisation that was legitimised by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition and the industry followed suit.

"Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organisation, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole."

Her Avengers costar Mark Ruffalo also joined in by uploading a post to social media citing the HFPA's reforms as "discouraging" while using the hashtag #ChangeIsGolden.

"Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past," he said. "Honestly, as a recent winner of a Golden Globe, I cannot feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award."

Netflix and Amazon issues statement against HFPA

At the weekend, Netflix and Amazon also announced they would be stepping away from working with the HFPA until more significant reforms were made.

"We don't believe these proposed new policies – particularly around the size and speed of membership growth – will tackle the HFPA's systemic diversity and inclusion challenges, or the lack of clear standards for how your members should operate," Netflix co-chief executive Ted Sarandos wrote in a letter to the HFPA's leadership committee.

“So we’re stopping any activities with your organisation until more meaningful changes are made. We know that you have many well-intentioned members who want real change – and that all of us have more work to do to create an equitable and inclusive industry."

Amazon Studios also came out with a statement on Saturday: "We have not been working with the HFPA since these issues were first raised, and like the rest of the industry, we are awaiting a sincere and significant resolution before moving forward."

HFPA criticism

The criticism has come after a number of members of the HFPA voted for an inclusion and overhaul proposal that includes adding at least 20 new members in 2021, boosting its ranks by 50 per cent over the next 18 months, hiring a diversity, equality, and inclusion strategist; and establishing a committee of "racially and ethnically diverse members who will advise the Board and oversee critical organisational reform."

However, critics have said that this isn't enough. The proposed changes follow an investigation published in February by the Los Angeles Times that noted there were currently no black members among the 87-member group of foreign entertainment journalists who make up the HFPA.

The article also raised long-standing ethical questions over the close relationships between the HFPA and movie studios that may influence the choice of Golden Globe nominees and winners.