Helen Hoehne Speaks at 2023 EqualVoice Summit

At the EqualVoice Summit in Zürich, Switzerland on June 6, Golden Globes President Helen Hoehne made a special appearance to talk about equality in movies.

An initiative of international media company Ringier AG, the second annual gathering of media, business and political executives aims to advocate for gender equality across various industries.

Following a short video featuring Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Coolidge, Glenn Close, Oprah Winfrey and other Golden Globe winners, Hoehne took the stage to both tout the economic benefits of pushing for gender equality and to highlight some of the HFPA’s rich history of honoring and promoting the work of women.

Hoehne began by underscoring the arc of absorbed compassion inherent in filmed entertainment — how it can transcend cultures and erase any differences of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. She then noted how films and television shows, especially for younger generations, help to shape ideas about how we treat our environment before noting that the recipe for gender equality has its roots in equitable onscreen representation.


Making personal the political, Hoehne connected her remarks to some of the Golden Globes’ own growth and reshaping. “We took a hard look at ourselves and fully committed to change and transformation,” she said. “We rewrote our bylaws, tossed out how we did things in the past, and radically expanded by tripling our voting body. We reached far beyond the shores of the U.S. to recruit more than 200 international entertainment journalists with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

“How did we do? I’m proud to say our voting body is now composed of 58 percent of those who self-identify as ethnically and culturally diverse. We now represent 76 countries as far-flung as Uruguay to the United Kingdom, from the Netherlands to Nigeria. At least 17 percent self-identify as LGBTQ+.”

“In terms of female representation,” Hoehne continued, “almost half of our voting body is female. Importantly, our leadership remains solidly women, with two-thirds of our board being female. It’s a demonstration of what commitment and leadership can achieve.”

In the rest of her remarks, Hoehne examined the relative performance of Hollywood’s creative community, citing the annual UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report, an important piece of university research (funded in part by the Golden Globes) that tracks the progress of Hollywood film, television and streaming on promoting diversity and gender participation.

Using specific data — including the fact that in 2022, theatrical films with casts that were from 31 to 40 percent diverse enjoyed the highest median global box office receipts, while films with casts that were less than 11 percent diverse were the poorest performers — Hoehne illustrated a clear commercial appetite from consumers to buy and watch diverse content.

In closing, Hoehne noted that the sooner business leaders awake to trends like these and make adjustments, the better industries will be prepared to adapt to the commercial realities of the future.


For more information on EqualVoice, click here (https://www.equalvoice.ch/en/).