UPDATED 3:55PM: The idiots at the HFPA had posted a donation of “five million dollars”– spelled out no less. They have now corrected it to “five thousand” after seeing my article. Everything else stands. I’m told that Phil Berk’s suspension and the move to get rid of his book has to do with the June 4th appeals hearing in their case with Dick Clark Productions. Somehow they think the appeals judges will not have heard of the book or read it. I’ll send them my copy.
PS The mystery of the 2012 donations continues…
EARLIER: Posted on their website: the kooky Hollywood Foreign Press Association has decided to donate $5 million– five million dollars– to the Art of Elysium charity. This is more than three times the amount the HFPA donates in one year to a variety of charities. It’s also more than the Art of Elysium has received in total since 2007 in donations from everyone. In 2011, their total income, for example, was only $1.5 million.
Many crazy things here. In 2012, the HFPA gave Art of Elysium just $5,000– five thousand dollars. So they went from five thousand to five million in one year. Second, nice as the Art of Elysium is– they encourage actors and artists to help the underprivileged–they have nothing to do with film or the film world or really anything in the realm of the Golden Globes. What the two groups have in common: they give great parties.
Many of the HFPA’s regular charities– like Martin Scorsese’s film preservation foundation or film schools– must be shocked to hear this news. The most they ever get from the HFPA is $100,000 or so.
Plus, as I reported in January, just three months ago: the HFPA has never said what happened to the $1.5 million they said they donated to charities in 2012. The group wrote a check to its now non existent self named Charitable Foundation — a 501 c 3 that is no longer active. When I asked Theo Kingma, current president of the HFPA, he never could provide an adequate answer.
On top of this, Mike Fleming reports over at Deadline.com that former president Phil Berk has been suspended for six months from the HFPA over his insane memoir called “With Signs and Wonders.” Plus the book is being pulled. (Amazon says it only has 3 copies anyway– it wasn’t exactly a best seller.) The book shows that Berk is really a nut– vicious toward his enemies, not so nice to fellow HFPA members.
You can read about the book here.
The HFPA starts its “new year” in the summer. I’m told that all the officers are giving themselves raises, too. Kingma would then be getting $100,000 a year to steer this ship. The whole thing would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.