Tonight the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will announce $1.9 million in charitable donations to various groups. They’re streaming live a B list star studded dinner where we can all watch HFPA members with questionable credentials fawn over and have pictures taken with Sofia Vergara and Robert Pattinson, the Hepburn and Tracy of 2014.
But before we get misty eyed about the HFPA largesse, let’s look at some numbers. On their newest tax filing, the “not-for-profit” HFPA now claims $18.5 million in total assets. Remember this is a group of 90 or so entertainment journalists whose work is hard to find if it exists at all.
Their largesse extends to the Golden Globes co-host. Last year, HFPA donated a whopping $250 to Amy Poehler’s summer camp charity. (Amy co-hosts the show with Tina Fey.) Income from the 2013 show is listed at over $10 million. You read that right. And Poehler and Fey, by the way, are paid union minimum for their host services. (If they can’t get jokes of that story this year, those ladies are in the wrong business!)
The $10 million comes from NBC to license the Golden Globes name. Last year, the fee offset the millions they spent on a futile and losing lawsuit with Dick Clark Productions, HFPA lost the case, appealed, and then settled right before a court was going to go against them again. DCP retains the right to produce the show.
Tonight the HFPA will install “new” officers, who are really just past officers who’ve been moved around. The most recent past president, Aida Takla O’Reilly, was paid a salary of $72,000. Word is the new president, Theo Kingma, coming into his second year, will get $100,000.
Total salaries in 2012-13 came to $208,740. But another $949,788 is list under salaries as “other.” The group also spent $909,459 on travel even though the movie studios fly them everywhere and pay for just about everything including every morsel that passes through their puckered lips.
The HFPA also spent $171,500 on its website– so popular with the international movie audience that it’s ranked at #969,314 globally on Alexa.com.
I’ve written this before: for the last couple of years the HFPA has been putting their charity money– about $1.5 million– into something called the Hollywood Foreign Charitable Trust, and then dispensing the money. But the Charitable Trust ceased to exist as a 501 c 3 around 2008. Sources at the HFPA recently gave me a sketchy explanation about this, saying they were applying to re-activate the Trust. Someone from GuideStar should look into that.