Mark Ruffalo & Scarlett Johansson speak out on lack of diversity in the Golden Globes
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is under fire from the biggest stars in Hollywood. After passing a reform package to address a lack of diversity amid their ranks, the HFPA thought they along with their Golden Globe awards, would be out of hot water. However, it only resulted in further backlash from more high-profile Hollywood stars, most notably Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo. They criticized the lack of diversity at the Golden Globes, putting the 2021 Golden Globes under scrutiny.
Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson turn their guns on the Golden Globes and HFPA
Johansson and Ruffalo have joined a series of voices that include Times Up, a coalition of more than 100 Hollywood PR firms, GLAAD, Amazon Studios, and Netflix in calling out the HFPA and the Golden Globes. Last Friday, Ruffalo said in a statement that he did not feel any joy over his recent Golden Globe win. He criticized the HFPA for their resistance to accept diversity, saying:
Honestly, as a recent winner of a Golden Globe, I cannot feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award. It’s discouraging. To see the HFPA, which has gained prominence and profited handsomely from their involvement with filmmakers and actors, resist the change that is being asked of them from many of the groups that have been most disenfranchised by their culture of secrecy and exclusion.
This outrage mainly came after a report by the Los Angeles Times. It revealed that there wasn’t a single black journalist among the almost 100 journalists that make up the HFPA. However, racism is not the only issue that the HFPA is facing.
Apart from racism, HFPA also accused of sexism
In a statement to Deadline, Scarlett Johansson shed some light on the rampant sexism within the ranks of the HFPA. She also revealed how this has an impact on the Golden Globes asking people to “step back” from the organization. That is why Johansson refused to participate in HFPA related conferences in the past, saying:
As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows. In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences. The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized 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 organization, 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.
This movement against the HFPA began when Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos spoke out against them last week. He also announced that the studios will not be taking part in HFPA events until they brought meaningful structural changes. Amazon Studios, GLAAD, The Black Journalists Assn., Time’s Up, and many Hollywood publicists then joined Sarandos in voicing their dissent. However, Disney, who has Scarlett Johansson featuring in their Black Widow movie, is still silent on the matter. We are yet to see how this will affect the future Golden Globes. As it is clear that the HFPA needs to make structural changes to address its lack of diversity.