By Abb Jones
The Reelness

Amazon Studios has joined Netflix’s newly-announced boycott of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association due to its complete lack of black members. This severing of ties from the two content providers Friday night comes a day after the 86-member HFPA approved a proposed list of reforms to correct its absence of black members, ethical lapses and questionable financial practices that made headlines in a scathing, February 21 Los Angeles Times investigative report.

HFPA Vice President Helen Hoehne, board chair Meher Tatna and President Ali Sar at the 78th Golden Globes on February 28th.

For now, NBC and Dick Clark Productions, which produce the annual televised Golden Globes awards ceremony, say they continue to stand by the HFPA, although a coalition of more than 100 publicity agencies say they will continue to withhold HFPA access to their celebrity clients. On Thursday, the tiny but powerful organization approved plans to increase membership by 50% over the next year and a half, overhaul membership criteria and reevaluate journalistic practices. Critics say it is not enough, calling the proposed changes “window-dressing platitudes.”

“We have not been working with the HFPA since these issues were first raised, and like the rest of the industry, we are awaiting a sincere and significant resolution before moving forward.” -Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke

Netflix, which received 42 nominations and 10 wins, more than any other studio or network at the 78th Golden Globe awards in February, was the first content provider to take aim at the HFPA.

“Like many in our industry, we’ve been waiting for today’s announcement in the hope that you would acknowledge the breadth of issues facing the HFPA and provide a clear roadmap for change. So we’re stopping any activities with your organization until more meaningful changes are made.” -Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos

The HFPA has long faced criticism for being an insiders club of second-rate hacks and wannabes that excludes legitimate journalists from mainstream publications and media outlets. Members of the tax exempt HFPA are routinely invited to junkets in exotic locales, put up in five-star hotels and lavished with gifts, dinners and star-studded parties as nominations season draws near. If more content providers join the boycott, the Golden Globes risks becoming a show with few to no participants.




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