HFPA member on diversity issue: Having a Black member was not really anything we focused on

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 03, 2021, 04.44 PM(IST)

More than 30 female actresses who are attending and or presenting at the 2018 Golden Globes have vowed to wear all black to this year`s ceremony. Photograph:( Others )

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When asked if she didn’t think this representation is necessary, Jenny Cooney replied, "I'm surrounded by people of all colors in the HFPA. I always thought diversity was more about not skin color but about nationalities and where people came from."

It was something that HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) has never focused on, admitted an HFPA member on the issue of Black representation on the board that votes for Golden Globes annually. In an interview with morning show Today Australia, HFPA member Jenny Cooney was asked about the controversy to which she said, "I think for the HFPA, we’ve always considered ourselves such a culturally diverse group. I think 35% of our members are non-European, from everywhere from North Africa, Philippines, Bangladesh, Japan.”

"So the fact that there was not a Black member was not really anything we focused on because we were accepting and welcoming everybody from around the world that was based in LA that wrote for foreign publications, that was just our criteria."

"The fact that there were no Black members we didn’t really consider a problem, and now, of course, we realize that we should have been much more proactive about really going out of our way to recruit and work with the media, the journalists, the foreign press, everywhere," the HFPA member continued.

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When asked if she didn’t think this representation is necessary, Jenny Cooney replied, "I'm surrounded by people of all colors in the HFPA. I always thought diversity was more about not skin color but about nationalities and where people came from."

She added that since the journalists were writing for specifically foreign publications, she didn't understand that, "we had to go and find a Black person. It sounded very strange."

The controversy gained steam after the recently-held Golden Globes 2021 ceremony as celebrities slammed HFPA for not having enough representation of Black members. 

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