After Monday’s explosive expose in the LA Times about the Golden Globes, you’d think the Hollywood trade papers would have followed with their own investigations.
The LA Times story blew apart the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for problems with finances, taxes, and race. Since then, Black actors finally realized there are no minority members of the HFPA, and they angry. Sterling K. Brown, Ava Duvernay and others are all asking questions.
But the Hollywood trades are going light light light on all of this. They’re doing the bare minimum required, regurgitating the LA Times story, letting them take the blame, and not rocking the boat.
In today’s Hollywood Reporter, the lone column on this subject points out there are “nice people” at the HFPA including the former president, and the now dead president. (As Taika Waititi might put it, not all Germans were Nazis.)
Why are the trades going so light? Because they are owned by the same corporate entity that owns Dick Clark Productions, producer of the Globes and financial partner. Millions are at stake. Originally DCP and the Hollywood Reporter were co-owned by Guggenheim Partners, spun off into a company called MRC. Then last year Penske Media, which owns Variety and Deadline, bought MRC. And now they’re all one happy company.
That leaves The Wrap, which I’ve never had much love for. I can tell you exclusively why they’re going light on the Globes and their machinations. According to the HFPA Form 990 tax filing for 2019, they donated $5,000 to the new 501 c3 charity set up by The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman. It’s called Wrap Women Foundation. I kid you not. Formed in 2018, the Wrap Women Foundation has one tax filing, for 2018. They claimed $62,472 in net assets. They gave nothing away. Zero. But in the process, they accepted $5,000 from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
(Guess who the officers are for The Wrap Women Foundation? Sharon Waxman is president. Claude Memmi is Head of Operations. They are married to each other. According to his LinkedIn page, Memmi is also head of HR at The Wrap. He’s also International Sales Director for Waxman Industries which he describes as “a manufacturer and trader of plumbing and bathroom products. We sell components to Europe’s largest manufacturers and retailers including The Porcelanosa Gruppo in Spain; Ronal in France; Artwegger in Austria; Hueppe in Germany; Opella in England; Mofem in Hungary.”)
Here’s the baloney from the Wrap Women Foundation Form 990: “What IS the organization’s primary exempt purpose? WRAPWOMEN FOUNDATION IS A CHARITABLE FOUNDATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE WRAP NEWS, INC, THE LEADING DIGITAL NEWS ORGANIZATION COVERING THE BUSINESS OF ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA WITH HIGH-PROFILE NEWSBREAKS WRAPWOMEN FOUNDATION IS A LEADING FORCE IN CREATING A MORE EQUITABLE WORLD FOR WOMEN IN ENTERTAINMENT, MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY CREATED IN THE WAKE OF THE #METOO MOVEMENT, THE FOUNDATION PROVIDES A PLATFORM TO COMBAT SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND PROMOTE GENDER EQUITY THROUGH MEDIA AND LIVE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT THE MISSION OF THE FOUNDATION”
Really. Should The Wrap being accepting donations from an organization it’s supposedly covering objectively? Especially since the other trades are already in financial entanglements with the Globes?
So we’re not going to get much reporting on the HFPA or Globes from The Wrap. And the others, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, are also going to let the LA Times and other “outsiders” do the dirty work.
Only in Hollywood kids, only in Hollywood.