Actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler complained about the lack of diversity at the 2021 Golden Globes. Yes, we're still doing that.
Actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler opened the 2021 Golden Globes on Sunday with a monologue about diversity and inclusion, Good Morning America reports. Yes, yet again, two White bigwigs from Hollywood made mention of the lack of representation in cinema and its subsequent awards ceremonies. However, yet again, nothing has transpired as a result of this "powerful" speech. For years now, and ever since the #OscarsSoWhite fiasco, White awards show hosts have poked fun at the racial homogeneity of award nominees. Unfortunately, their "groundbreaking" words are yet to make any impactful change when it comes to actual representation on-screen.
Fey began, as she hosted from the Rainbow Room in New York City, "The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international, no Black journalists, who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life. We say around 90, because a couple of them might be ghosts, and it's rumored that the German member is just a sausage that somebody drew a little face on." The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, or HFPA, is a non-profit organization of journalists and photographers who report on the entertainment industry. They are best known, nonetheless, for conducting the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony. Founded in 1943, the organization consists of 87 members who are accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America. The super-elite club is particularly controversial as it does not list its members publicly.
A report in The Times, however, reads, "It includes no Black people but does feature a former Miss Universe, a Russian bodybuilder turned filmmaker and a Finn who has two books and a DVD on the Chinese art of face-reading." The HFPA was also recently embroiled in controversy after two journalists sued for improper behavior. This set the context for Poehler's part of the monologue. "Everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices," she said from the Beverly Hilton hotel, the traditional site of the Golden Globes. "Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated, but that happens. Okay, that's like their thing, but a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked."
"Look, we all know that award shows are st*pid," Fey chimed in. "They're all a scam, invented by Big Red Carpet to sell more carpet. Point is, even with st*pid things, inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realize HFPA, maybe you guys didn't get a memo because your workplace is in the back booth of a French McDonald's, but you've got to change that. So here's to change." In response, the HFPA released a statement to The Los Angeles Times: "We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them. We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible."
Let us not give the HFPA a pat on the back for a bare-minimum response that does not translate into action. It is 2021, and a tepid monologue about representation from two White women should not be the spark that lights the movement for representation and diversity within an organization. Associations must include people of diverse backgrounds simply because that is the right thing to do. Nonetheless, whether this half-baked response will actually lead to change is yet to be seen. Needless to say, we do not have our hopes up.