Actress Scarlett Johansson called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) — which presents the Golden Globe Awards — on Saturday, saying she has faced “sexist questions” at press conferences. The actress is now urging the entertainment industry to “take a step back” from the HFPA.
“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 in statement on Saturday, according to a report by Hollywood Reporter.
“As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows,” Johansson elaborated in her statement. “In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment.”
“It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences,” the actress added. “The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition and the industry followed suit.”
The report added that Johansson’s statement arrives on the heels of actor Mark Ruffalo becoming the first A-lister in Hollywood to distance himself from the organization.
“It’s discouraging to see the HFPA, which has gained prominence and profited handsomely from their involvement with filmmakers and actors, resist the change that is being asked of them from many of the groups that have been most disenfranchised by their culture of secrecy and exclusion,” Ruffalo said on Friday.
“Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past,” the actor continued. “Our industry is embracing the opportunity for greater equality in this beautiful moment. It is not perfect and long overdo but it is clear what must happen and how.”
“The Justice Movement is offering all of us, the HFPA, and every other entertainment entity, a good way forward,” Ruffalo added. “We should all follow suit. It is our audiences and our highest sense of decency that we are ultimately serving with these changes. They are both deserving.”
The report added that the movement known as “Time’s Up,” as well as a coalition of PR firms, Amazon, and Netflix have also suggested that recent reforms announced by the HFPA do not adequately address concerns about the organization’s demographics and ethics.
In March, the HFPA committed to having 13 percent black membership, after it was criticized for not having a black journalist among its members, and after 100 PR firms sent a letter demanding the organization make changes.
The HFPA is also hiring a chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer to address its public relations crisis.