Two members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have resigned, criticizing the inner workings of the group that votes on the Golden Globes as a “toxic environment” that continues to undermine professional journalism.
In a letter to HFPA president Ali Sar and other group leaders on Thursday, as reported by the Los Angeles Times’ Stacy Perman, Wenting Xu and Diederik van Hoogstraten said staying with the association was “no longer tenable” for them.
“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a toxic place for working journalists. So we resign as members of the HFPA, effective immediately,” they said.
Among the reasons given for their resignation are allegations of the majority of the HFPA’s members being resistant to “deep change,” the stifling of internal opposition to the status quo, the ignoring of critical voices, and the watering down of new bylaws.
“Insulation, silence, fear of retribution, self-dealing, corruption and verbal abuse are just a few ways to describe that culture,” the two wrote in their joint letter. “And as Netflix founder Reed Hastings has said: a workplace culture cannot change. It’s a statement we have seen proven over the past four months. The HFPA continues to accommodate a toxic environment that undermines professional journalism. The bullying of members by fellow members is left unquestioned and unpunished. The badgering of talent and publicists: ditto.”
Moving forward, they added, the aim is to build a “transparent, professional, and inclusive organization” for current and future generations of reporters who want to work together “without the toxicity.”
Read the letter in full here.
When reached for comment by Complex on Friday morning, the HFPA Board members said it was “disappointing that some members have decided to try and splinter our organization and sow division and doubt.” Read the Board members’ full statement to Complex below:
“At a time when the overwhelming majority of our members have chosen to be a part of change, it is disappointing that some members have decided to try and splinter our organization and sow division and doubt. While some may have their own agendas, the Board and membership of the HFPA share one, common goal – passing the transformational change our organization needs.