Scarlett Johansson is the latest celebrity to take aim at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
The 36-year-old actress released a statement on Saturday, urging the industry to “step back” from the organization behind the annual Golden Globe Awards. While many Hollywood figures and companies have slammed the association over its lack of diversity and inclusion, Johansson specifically called out the HFPA for failing to properly address sexism among its members.
“As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows. In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences,” the Golden Globe nominee said in a statement to Indie Wire. “The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition and the industry followed suit. Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”
The HFPA began receiving backlash this year after it was revealed there was not a single Black person among its 87-person membership. The organization has since unveiled its plan to expand its membership by 50 percent in the upcoming months, and has pledged to focus on recruiting Black journalists and other “underrepresented groups.” The association has set a Sept. 1 deadline for some of its reforms—a timeframe that has received criticism from many industry figures, including Johansson’s Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo.
“Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past,” said the Golden Globe-winning actor. “Our industry is embracing the opportunity for greater equality in this beautiful moment. It is not perfect and long overdo but it is clear what must happen and how. The Justice Movement is offering all of us, the HFPA, and every other entertainment entity, a good way forward. We should all follow suit. It is our audiences and our highest sense of decency that we are ultimately serving with these changes. They are both deserving.”
The HFPA has yet to publicly respond to Johansson’s statement.