Monday, April 22, 2024

Swag Heaven Can Wait: Golden Globes Members Will No Longer Take Gifts, Trips, Greenbacks from Studios


This story broke on Friday, but when I saw it I couldn’t believe it. Hell has frozen over, pigs are flying, all of that.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association– long the recipients of swag that would blow your mind — are putting in a policy against it. No more gifts, trips, meals, greenbacks, shiny things from the studios.

Wait! What? The World’s Happiest Guests are going to try and make it on their own. Publicists all over Hollywood, the world, must be LOL and ROF. Giving gifts to the HFPA is almost an American pastime. And as Stevie Wonder might sing, they  were living in a pastime paradise.

Some members must be distraught enough to seek grief therapy. What will they do? How will they function?

Anyway, here’s their statement.

“The HFPA remains dedicated to the transformational change it outlined in its May reform plan and timeline. Yesterday, the organization put several more key pieces in place to move forward with reform.

HFPA membership approved the draft bylaws for a final vote with no amendments, demonstrating its continued commitment to foundational change. Official ballots will now go out via mail to the membership, with a final vote tally in early August.

The HFPA also approved new gift, travel and conflict of interest policies. Under these new policies, HFPA members shall not be permitted to accept promotional materials or other gifts from studios, publicists, actors, directors or others associated with motion pictures and television programs.

With these updates, our members have completed virtually all of the reforms agreed upon in May — including establishing a functioning hotline (with grievances to be investigated by an outside group), approving a new code of conduct, and bringing on trusted DEI advisors.

We will continue to update the industry on our progress as we vote on new bylaws that will create an inclusive, diverse, and accountable organization — one that our members, stakeholders, and partners will be proud of.”

The HFPA, of course, still has no Black members. They’re weighing an offer to split the Golden Globes off from the philanthropic side of their organization and form an LLC with MRC/Dick Clark Productions to give the show transparency and inclusivity. New members, if the above goes through, will have to listen to stories about all the great trips and gifts of he past. Dang! They’ve removed the whole reason to join! 

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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