The HFPA Brings In the Largest Group of New Members in Its History
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced the selection of its 2021 incoming class of new members, the largest and most diverse in its 78-year history. The incoming class caps a six-month-long reform process that has transformed the way the Association operates through five key areas of focus: Accountability, Membership, Inclusion, Good Governance, and Transparency.
“We are thrilled to welcome these new members into our family, said HFPA President Helen Hoehne. “We are building a new organization, one that is not focused on fulfilling quotas, but instead has diversity and inclusion at its core, has ethical conduct as the norm, and has people of color involved in every aspect of the Association — from membership to executive leadership. That is how we’re growing an inclusive environment, and for us to make this much progress in six months is a testament to our membership and our dedication to building something better.”
Selected from an applicant pool resulting from an extensive outreach effort, the HFPA added 21 new members — a more than 20% increase in overall membership — in one class and anticipates a similar-sized class in 2022. These members will have immediate voting rights for the Golden Globes under the Association’s new bylaws and will be able to immediately join HFPA committees. Of the 21 new members:
- 48% identify as women;
- 29% identify as Black;
- 24% identify as Asian;
- 29% identify as Latinx;
- 19% identify as Middle Eastern/North African.
“As a committee, we’re proud of this first class we’ve invited to join the reimagined HFPA. They’re a group of well-respected journalists from around the world who will bring a variety of unique perspectives to this organization,” said Credential Committee member Tre’vell Anderson. “That said, we recognize that this is just a first step in a long process, and as a committee, we’re excited to build upon our work in the weeks, months and years to come to continue creating a more inclusive and supportive collective.”
In addition, the HFPA plans to offer support and pipeline programs in the future to applicants who were not accepted.
The Association used three key approaches to recruit the 2021 class:
- Spearheading a massive outreach campaign involving nearly two dozen journalism groups and educational and professional associations. A special HFPA New Member Committee was also created that included HFPA’s DEI consultants to provide leadership, guidance and support in enabling members to recruit new journalists.
- Creating a nine-person Credentials Committee, including five non-members, that oversaw the admissions process. Last week five outside distinguished journalism professionals were selected as the ones who aided in this new selection process — Tre’Vell Anderson, Terry Anzur, Bel Hernandez, Toni Moston and Dr. Allissa Richardson.
- Eliminating outdated requirements and barriers to entry to create a larger, more diverse organization. Those changes include:
- Elimination of the requirement to be an accredited media member of the Motion Picture Association (MPA);
- Elimination of the geographic requirement of residency in Southern California and expanding eligibility to anywhere in the U.S.;
- Expansion of the number of required press clippings from an internationally-based publication or outlet to eight total clippings received over the past two years;
- Expansion of eligible journalists to include radio, online, photography and broadcast outlets.
The HFPA began its reform work in April, and members immediately poured themselves into overhauling outdated requirements and developing policies reshaping how members must behave publicly and professionally.
“Most, if not all of our members have spent countless hours over the past several months dedicating themselves to reform – from DEI training, to serving on committees to find new members, to representing the organization in meetings with key partners,” said Hoehne. “It’s clear that they love this organization, they love this industry and wanted to put in the work, reshaping our entire Association in a remarkably short amount of time.”
The result of their work was a set of bylaws overwhelmingly passed by members in August completely revamping the governance structure, eliminating barriers for future members and holding all members accountable for their actions. Under the bylaws:
Governance and Inclusion:
- The Board of Directors was expanded and now includes 15 total directors – 12 active members and three who are non-members. Those three board members are Jeff Harris, Dr. Joanna Dodd Massey and Sharlette Hambrick.
- The HFPA also appointed an Advisory Board to select the members of the Credentials Committee. The three outside members of the Advisory Board are Shaka McGlotten, Santiago Pozo and Paula Williams Madison.
- The HFPA will employ a new Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Human Resource Officer, and Chief Diversity Officer.
- Members can no longer accept gifts from studios, publicists, actors, directors, or others associated with motion pictures and television programs. Members must also pay for their own trips.
- Members must sign a Code of Conduct that includes anti-bullying, anti-harassment, and non-discrimination policies. If found in violation, a member will be disciplined, up to and including termination of membership.
- Members, including Board members, must undergo Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training.
- A hotline is now in place that allows anyone to make anonymous complaints about member behavior. A third-party investigatory process was put into place to handle such complaints.
These bylaws, and this first new membership class, are two significant steps in creating a welcoming environment that will help the HFPA reach its most important goal: Expanding and creating a more diverse membership and becoming an example for the industry to follow.
The members of the HFPA Class of 2021 are:
- Raffi Boghosian, Al Arabiya
- Kelley Carter, ESPN (Global)
- David Caspi, Israel Hayom
- Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN
- Andrés Correa Guatarasma, El Universal
- Earl Gibson III, Getty Images
- Eun Seon Ha, KOFIC
- Howaida Hamdy, Al Akhbar
- Itsuko Hirai, Movie Walker Press
- K.J. Matthews, DW-TV
- Juan Navarro, Televisa
- Jânio Carlos Vieira Nazareth, Cinépop
- Ruben Peralta-Rigaud, SensaCine
- Gerardo Prat, ¡HOLA! TV
- Kimberly Reyes, Film Ireland
- Mico Saad, TeN TV
- Asel Sherniyazova, AKIpress News Agency
- Gabriel Silva Lamboglia, El País
- Miriam Spritzer, L’Officiel Brasil
- Mario Pacheco Székely, El Universal
- Yuko Yoshikawa, Cinema Today