Golden Globes Judges Acknowledge Lack of Diversity, Get Widely Panned

After getting called out by Golden Globes co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on Sunday night, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) took the stage during the award show to address the lack of Black members within its ranks. But many people on Twitter are not moved or impressed by the HFPA's remarks.

While delivering the show's opening monologue, Fey brought attention to a Friday report from Variety, in which board chair and former HFPA president Meher Tatna said the organization hasn't had a Black member in 20 years. "The HFPA is made up of about 90 international—no Black—journalists," Fey quipped early in the show.

Shortly before getting to the award-giving, Poehler was even more blunt when speaking about the organization. "This is something we probably should have told you earlier, everyone is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices," she said. "A lot of flashy garbage got nominated. But that happens, that's, like, their thing. A number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked."

Fey also chimed in, and called for change moving forward. "Inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the HFPA. I realize you didn't get the memo, HFPA, because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald's, but you gotta change that," she said.

Minutes later, three members of the HFPA—Tatna, Vice President Helen Hoehne and President Ali Sar—appeared onstage to address the group's lack of diversity. "We must ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities get a seat at our table—and we are going to make that happen," Tatna said.

As the first member to speak on the show, Hoehne spoke about the importance of including Black members in the HFPA. "Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization," she said.

People online were not shy about criticizing the HFPA members' remarks, and characterized them as rushed and reactionary. One person tweeted out an image of two members of the Jersey Shore cast looking bored out of their minds in front of a laptop, and wrote that that's what the HFPA must've looked like writing the speech "pretending to be more inclusive or whatever."

Another person joked that the speech made it seem as though the HFPA only just realized that it doesn't feature any Black members.

HFPA writing their 15 second speech at the #GoldenGlobes pretending to be more inclusive or whatever. pic.twitter.com/XiuDsCInUu

— Khalid El Khatib (@kmelkhat) March 1, 2021

I think it’s hilarious that The #Hfpa are acting like they just discovered there were no black ppl in their organization. #GoldenGlobes

— aasif mandvi (@aasif) March 1, 2021

And despite the promise for more inclusivity, many people online pointed out that the speech didn't provide any concrete details for how the HFPA plans to change its membership.

The Hollywood Reporter critic Daniel Fienberg tweeted that there were other issues surrounding the HFPA that need to be acknowledged, including "blatant payola." (He also advised the HFPA to "get bent.") Another person compared the statement to performative activism by implying that it was the equivalent of posting a black square on social media.

That was UTTERLY embarrassing, as acknowledgments of HFPA go.

Plus, ZERO acknowledgment of myriad ethical concerns and blatant payola?

Get bent, guys. #GoldenGlobes

— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) March 1, 2021

That inclusivity speech from the HFPA was...lacking. There's a lot of work to do there. #GoldenGlobes

— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) March 1, 2021

#GoldenGlobes Thank you and we look forward to a more inclusive future said HFPA president Ali Sar as he looked like he wanted to make like the Flash & speed off way from Hollywood's rage .. no plan, no details & no recognition Ugh!

— Dominic Patten (@DeadlineDominic) March 1, 2021

The HFPA said pic.twitter.com/1HxyubqtRZ

— Rose Dommu (@rosedommu) March 1, 2021

While not addressing the statement, the official account for the film Judas and the Black Messiah gently called out the HFPA, even after actor Daniel Kaluuya won the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. "While we celebrate Daniel, we also acknowledge the need for actionable change within the HFPA. This is the opportunity to push the Golden Globes to expand HFPA voter representation to truly represent the many communities & voices - including Black artists - within our industry," the movie's account tweeted.

While we celebrate Daniel, we also acknowledge the need for actionable change within the HFPA. This is the opportunity to push the Golden Globes to expand HFPA voter representation to truly represent the many communities & voices - including Black artists - within our industry.

— Judas and the Black Messiah (@JATBMFilm) March 1, 2021
HFPA GOlden Globes
The new 2009 Golden Globe statuettes are on display during an unveiling by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. The 66th annual Golden Globe Awards are scheduled for January 11. Frazer Harrison/Getty

Correction 2/28/2021, 9:45 p.m. ET: This headline and article have been corrected to remove any mentions of an apology from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. While the HFPA members acknowledged a lack of diversity within the organization's membership, they did not literally apologize for a lack of diversity.