HFPA promises to increase Black membership as Shonda Rhimes calls out their “ignorance”

(LOS ANGELES) — Amid fallout from a New York Times exposé revealing the lack of Black members in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the organization behind the Golden Globes — and a demand from more than 100 PR firms to provide “explicit plans” for “transformational change,” the organization is assuring people it has gotten the message.

In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the HFPA, whose membership consists of 87 Los Angeles-based journalists, none of whom are Black, on Tuesday wrote in part that they are “committed to making necessary changes within our organization and in our industry as a whole, adding, “We also acknowledge that we should have done more, and sooner.”

“As a demonstration of our commitment, the board has unanimously approved a plan to increase membership to a minimum of 100 members this year, with a requirement that at least 13 percent of the membership be Black journalists,” the statement continued.

“While we recognize this is a long-term process, we will continue to be transparent, provide updates, and have confidence in our ability to change and restore trust in our organization and the Golden Globes,” added the statement. “As we do so, we invite others in the Hollywood community to join us in advancing racial equity in our industry.

Meanwhile, Black creators, including Shonda Rhimes, continued to attack the HFPA’s “ignorance.”

In response a story from The Wrap alleging the organization “rejected requests to hold press conferences for major projects with Black-led casts in recent years,” Rhimes tweeted her claim that the HFPA rejected her press conferences, yet “they STILL asked me to show up in person to present at the Globes.”

“This is why HFPA’s house is on fire. They lit the flame w/their own ignorance,” she added.

By George Costantino
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