Actor and network join industry figures distancing themselves from Hollywood Foreign Press Association after exposé

By Alexia Fernández

Tom Cruise has returned his three Golden Globes in protest after criticisms levelled at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association continue to create problems in the industry.

The actor, who won for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia, is one of many to stand up against the HFPA, the small group of international journalists who vote on the awards, after an exposé highlighted failings. NBC has also announced that it will not be airing the 2022 Golden Globes.

The HFPA has been under fire since the Los Angeles Times revealed allegations of corruption and impropriety as well as a lack of any black members.

“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” a statement from the network read. “However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”

The network has shown the Golden Globes since 1996, paying about $60m a year for rights. The most recent ceremony, which saw Nomadland win big, saw a 60% drop in viewers.

The last week has seen studios, publicists and stars continue to distance themselves from the HFPA. Netflix, WarnerMedia and Scarlett Johansson have all urged the industry to take action. “Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA,” Johansson said.

The Los Angeles Times ran two investigations in the lead-up to this year’s ceremony, detailing many “ethical lapses” that have seen members courted by studios as well as barriers faced by black journalists.

Since the article was published, the HFPA’s former president Phillip Berk was expelled for sharing an article with other members that referred to Black Lives Matter as “a “racist hate group”.

Perhaps this will finally prompt the HFPA to actually make real, meaningful changes in their practices. The Association said they were dedicated to real change, and this is the time to actually follow through with those words. Until that happens, though, expect even more members of the Hollywood elite to disavow the Golden Globes and the HFPA.

The HFPA has yet to respond to the news.

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