Friday, June 21, 2024

Embattled Golden Globes Hire a Diversity Officer, Neil Phillips, Their First Black Officer or Executive


Welcome, Neil Phillips.

He’s the new Diversity Officer for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, aka the Golden Globes. He’s the first Black officer or executive to be involved with the embattled group.

Earlier this year, the HFPA hired a diversity officer who quit almost immediately. That was Shaun Harper, a professor of racial, gender and LGBTQ issues at USC’s Marshall School of Business. He left without explanation. But it was probably because the situation looked bleak.

Since then, the HFPA has been forced to take on a raft of new members who are all POC. They’ve also been taken over by MRC, the company that actually owns Dick Clark Productions. The HFPA has announced that despite NBC keeping them off the air, they will give nominations and awards on the corresponding days of the Critics Choice Awards, the more legit group that will broadcast on January 9th from the new Century Plaza Hotel. It was a low move by the HFPA, not known for their graciousness.

According to a press release, Phillips is an Aspen Institute Education Entrepreneurship Fellow and a member of the inaugural Echoing Green/Open Society Foundation Black Male Achievement Fellowship. He is a multiple-time winner of The Nantucket Project Audience Award for his provocative talk on race in America called “Race to Truth” for his compelling on-stage conversation with famed television producer Norman Lear and, most recently, for his on-stage conversation with former President George W. Bush. Currently, Neil is working on a documentary film with The Nantucket Project, focusing on race and Black male achievement.

Good luck, Neil. Sleep with one eye open.

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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