Netflix will stop working with the HFPA 'until more meaningful changes are made'

The letter from Netflix's co-chief executive Ted Sarandos comes as a blow to the group behind the Golden Globes

Netflix has announced it will no longer work with the Hollywood Foreign Press Agency until more changes are made to the organisation. Reuters 
Netflix has announced it will no longer work with the Hollywood Foreign Press Agency until more changes are made to the organisation. Reuters 

As the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has announced plans to reform itself, streaming service Netflix has declared that it will no longer be working with the Golden Globes group until it sorts it out.

However, 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

Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-chief executive

“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,” the streamer’s co-chief executive Ted Sarandos wrote in a letter on Thursday to the HFPA’s leadership committee.

This came 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 and boosting its ranks by 50 per cent over the next 18 months.

“Today’s vote is an important first step. However, 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," Sarandos said.

“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.

“But Netflix and many of the talent and creators we work with cannot ignore the HFPA’s collective failure to address these crucial issues with urgency and rigour,” Sandaros said.

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.

Additional reporting from Reuters

Updated: May 12, 2021 12:59 PM

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