The Hollywood Foreign Press is being sued by a real, professional Norwegian journalist who claims the group that runs the Golden Globes has done everything to keep her out.
And by everything, she means blackmail, bribery, conspiracy. It’s basically ant-trust lawsuit.
The HFPA have been accused of a lot of things over the years.I’ve certainly written about them a lot. I know there’s an old guard faction and a newer group that disapproves of the way things used to be run. Change take time.
But Kjsersti (like Kirstie in English) Flaa has been so jostled by the old guard, which she says did everything to resist her, that she’s filed a complaint full of gory details of alleged backstage politicking. For movie reviewers, these guys are tough, I’ll tell ya.
Flaa names the HFPA as an entity as well as individual members who she says saw her as a threat to their position and income– particularly members from Scandinavian countries who thought she’d start selling articles in their countries as well as Norway. Flaa claims those writers made her sign agreements saying she would do no such thing if she became a member. Yikes.
I’ve actually formed some relationships with HFPA members, but I can’t name them for fear they’ll be blackballed or worse. NBC, which carries the Golden Globes, seems not to care what happens internally with the HFPA as long as the stars show up and the ratings are good. This new Globes show is supposed to be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on February 28th, 2021. But who knows if that can happen with the pandemic?
In the meantime, here’s the link to Flaa’s complaint.
Keep in mind that the HFPA is a big, tax free business that is listed as a 501 c(3). In 2018 they listed their net assets as $47 million– mostly from licensing the Globes to NBC and Dick Clark Productions. Salaries for top staff in 2018 came to $2.9 million, up from $2.2 million in 2017. Every year they give $2 million away to meet their tax free status as a philanthropy. So the stakes are high here if Flaa can really make a case and move forward against them.
The HFPA responds:
“While the HFPA has not yet been served with this complaint, it seems consistent with Ms. Flaa’s ongoing attempts to shake down the HFPA, demanding that the HFPA pay her off and immediately admit her prior to the conclusion of the usual annual election process applied to every other HFPA applicant. The HFPA has refused to pay ransom, telling Ms. Flaa that membership was not gained through intimidation. Ms. Flaa and her attorney are now asking a court to order her into the organization and pay her.”