The massive backlash against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – which presumably thought that he was pulling himself, and his Golden Globe awards ceremony, out of hot water with a new package of reforms he passed yesterday – has now progressed to the point that specific stars have started to lash out to the body of 87 journalists. Through Deadline, Marvel Actors Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson both went on the offensive against the group this weekend, joining a series of rising voices that include Times Up, a coalition of over 100 Hollywood PR firms, GLAAD, Amazon Studios and Netflix.
“Honestly, as a recent Golden Globe winner, I can’t feel proud or happy to have been a recipient of this award,” Ruffalo said in a statement last night, referring to his victory from the last year. I know this is true. “It’s disheartening,” added Ruffalo, “To see the HFPA, which has gained notoriety and has benefited greatly from its involvement with filmmakers and actors, resist the change demanded of them by many groups that have been the most deprived of their rights by their culture of secrecy and exclusion. Ruffalo’s comments mirror those of Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and many others, who have pretty much all condemned the organization’s stated plan to expand its workforce over the next 18 months as being too little, too late. (The HFPA came under heavy criticism earlier this year when a Los Angeles Times report pointed out that of the less than 100 journalists who make it up, not one was black.)
Johansson, meanwhile, appealed today to “take a step back” from the HFPA, calling it “an organization that has been legitimized by Harvey Weinstein to give impetus to the recognition of the Academy.” ” As with others, she pointed to the often uncomfortable press conferences that are typically required of anyone seeking Golden Globe recognition, noting that, “in the past this has often meant dealing with sexist questions and remarks. of some HFPA members who bordered on sexual harassment. This is the exact reason why I refused to attend their conferences for many years. (Johansson has been nominated five times by the Golden Globes, most recently for Marriage story.)
Ali Sar, president of the HFPA, released his own statement last night, responding to Netflix’s letter promising the organization is working to resolve its issues, and calling for “open dialogue” rather than outright condemnation. None of these elements seem to have stemmed the tide of people talking about the group; it remains to be seen how drastically the Golden Globes will need to change to make up for their past failures in the eyes of the many industry entities they need to stay on the safe side.