The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group behind the Golden Globes, announced Thursday that its members had approved a broad series of changes to improve the organization's diversity and restore it to the film industry's good graces. NBC, which had already taken the awards show off the air for next year, released a statement saying it finds the actions encouraging. "This marks a positive step forward and signals the HFPA's willingness to do the work necessary for meaningful change," the statement said. The press association has faced industry pressure that amounts to a boycott since a Los Angeles Times investigation last year found, among other things, that the group's 87-member voting body included not one Black person. One of the changes approved is to expand membership to address the lack of diversity. The association's goal is to get the awards show back on the air in 2023.
The vote was 63-29, per the Times; approval required yes votes from two-thirds of the members. The association's board had threatened to resign if the new bylaws were rejected, per the Hollywood Reporter. The changes also address issues including ethics, members' conduct, finances, journalistic credentials—and perks, some of which had brought the group criticism for years. Gifts from studios and others in the industry to members will be prohibited. A new chief executive will be hired, as will heads of finance and human resources, as well as a chief diversity officer. Membership will be opened to any journalist who wants to join, and the decision on acceptance will be made by a panel of mostly nonmembers, per the New York Times. The board's president said the group had delivered "transformational change," adding, "All of these promised reforms can serve as industry benchmarks and allow us to once again partner meaningfully with Hollywood." (Read more Golden Globes stories.)