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HFPA Diversity Scandal Addressed in Letter to Hollywood Leadership

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association continued its apology tour on Wednesday by sending a letter to studio and personal publicists that reiterated its promise that change was coming to the embattled organization.

“We have been partners with many of you for a long time and recognize and appreciate the significant role you play in the entertainment community. In the spirit of transparency, we are reaching out to you to reassure you that important changes are underway at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” reads the letter, which was signed by HFPA President Ali Sar. “We announced our commitment to transformational change over the weekend, as well as the hiring of two experienced, renowned advisors in Dr. Shaun Harper and Ropes & Gray … to immediately assist with the implementation of our plan. We are also actively scheduling conversations with different communities, partners and advocacy groups to better educate our approach and create strong partnerships that will further serve our goals of transformational change. We know we have a lot to do, and we are committed to listening, learning and putting in the work.”

The letter also says the HFPA plans on holding a series of meetings “once our full plan is in place.”

“We will continue to keep you in the loop on additional announcements to come and look forward to informing you on the work we are doing to reform our organization,” the letter reads. “We are taking this work on with urgency, but also thoughtfully and deliberately, to ensure long-term success and to restore confidence in our organization.”

The HFPA announced on Tuesday it would be working with Harper and Ropes & Gray shortly before Time’s Up released a set of recommendations to transform the HFPA and the Golden Globes. The org came under fire just days before the 2021 Golden Globes when it was revealed that the nonprofit organization has not had a single Black member since before 2002.

Read the full letter from the HFPA below:

March 10, 2021
To Our Colleagues In The Entertainment Industry:

We have been partners with many of you for a long time and recognize and appreciate the significant role you play in the entertainment community. In the spirit of transparency, we are reaching out to you to reassure you that important changes are underway at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

We announced our commitment to transformational change over the weekend, as well as the hiring of two experienced, renowned advisors in Dr. Shaun Harper and Ropes & Gray to immediately assist with the implementation of our plan. We are also actively scheduling conversations with different communities, partners and advocacy groups to better educate our approach and create strong partnerships that will further serve our goals of transformational change. We know we have a lot to do, and we are committed to listening, learning and putting in the work.

We will continue to keep you in the loop on additional announcements to come and look forward to informing you on the work we are doing to reform our organization. We are taking this work on with urgency, but also thoughtfully and deliberately, to ensure long-term success and to restore confidence in our organization.

We greatly value the relationships we’ve built with you over the years and think of you all as partners. We are open to your thoughts, questions and concerns and would like to set a meeting with our leadership and the leaders of your agencies once our full plan is in place.

Thank you,

Ali Sar



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