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NBC Rebukes Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Won't Air 2022 Golden Globes

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So NBC Universal announced that it's canceling its broadcast of next year's Golden Globes. As NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, the news follows controversy over the organization that's been giving out awards for film and television since the 1940s.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the HFPA, has long been accused of many things, including shady dealings, corruption and a lack of diversity.

(SOUNDBITE OF 77TH GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS)

RICKY GERVAIS: Let's have a laugh at your expense, shall we?

DEL BARCO: In 2020, Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais roasted Hollywood and the HFPA during his opening monologue.

(SOUNDBITE OF 77TH GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS)

GERVAIS: Many talented people of color were snubbed in major categories. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about that. The Hollywood Foreign Press are all very, very racist. So...

(LAUGHTER)

DEL BARCO: Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times published an explosive expose revealing the nonprofit organization has zero Black members among the 86 who vote on the awards. That was pointed out again by co-host Tina Fey during this year's Golden Globes ceremony.

(SOUNDBITE OF 78TH GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS)

TINA FEY: Inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realize, HFPA, maybe you guys didn't get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald's.

(LAUGHTER)

FEY: But you got to change that.

DEL BARCO: Three board members of the HFPA came on stage to talk about the issue, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF 78TH GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS)

HELEN HOEHNE: We recognize we have our own work to do. Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.

MEHER TATNA: We must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table. And we are going to make that happen.

ALI SAR: That means creating an environment where diverse membership is the norm.

DEL BARCO: But criticism against the HFPA mounted. Hollywood A-listers and their publicists wrote an open letter demanding change and threatening boycott. This week, actor Tom Cruise reportedly returned his three Golden Globes in protest. Yesterday, Amazon and Warner Media announced they were boycotting any dealings with the HFPA. They followed Netflix, whose co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote a letter that NPR secured. We know that you have many well-intentioned members who want real change, he wrote. 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 rigor.

The HFPA pledged to reform, saying it'd find a new CEO, an officer for diversity, equity and inclusion, a new code of conduct and outreach for new members. But that was not enough for NBC Universal. In a statement, it said it believed the EPA is committed to meaningful reform, but, quote, "Change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right." NBC says if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association does change, it might broadcast the Golden Globes in 2023. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF AMBIENT JAZZ ENSEMBLE'S "WAITING FOR SPACE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.