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Scarlett Johansson Bashes HFPA For Borderline 'Sexual Harassment,' Demands 'Fundamental Reform'

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Source: MEGA

May. 10 2021, Published 4:48 p.m. ET

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Scarlett Johansson has joined the movement against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), accusing them of sexual harassment and urging others in the entertainment industry to halt their involvement with the group until drastic changes are made.

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She is one of many to condemn HFPA — the small group of international journalists that determine the nominees and winners of the Golden Globe Awards every year — for their lack of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

In a statement, the 36-year-old demanded change be made while sharing some of her own experiences with the group.

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"As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows," Johansson began. "In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment."

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"It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences," she continued, before she went on to allege that the HFPA "was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition and the industry followed suit."

The Avengers star urged actors, publicists, studios and media organizations to "step back from the HFPA" until there is "necessary fundamental reform within the organization." 

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Johansson concluded in her statement, obtained by Variety, that it is now time to "focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”

Last week, Netflix's co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos sent a letter to HFPA's leadership committee following their vote to approve changes within the organization.

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While Sarandos called HFPA's vote for reform "an important first step," he insisted the new modifications won't resolve the "breadth of issues" within the organization, per The Hollywood Reporter.

"We don't believe these proposed new policies — particularly around the size and speed of membership growth — will tackle the HFPA's systemic diversity and inclusion challenges, or the lack of clear standards for how your members should operate," the co-CEO said.

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HFPA President Ali Sar responded to Sarandos' letter, explaining they "always valued" their relationship with Netflix and "hear" the streaming service's concerns. Sar claimed the group is "working diligently on all" the changes that are needed to be made.

"We can assure you that our plan reflects input from our supporters and critics alike, and we truly believe that our plan will drive meaningful reform and inclusion within our Association and in a way that the entire industry can be proud of," the president concluded. 

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On Friday, May 7, Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke also issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying they have distanced themselves from HFPA until they see a "sincere and significant resolution."

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In addition, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, shamed the group for their lack of inclusion when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. She urged the association to make the necessary changes ahead of the upcoming award season.

"The HFPA reforms do not go far enough to ensure the organization as a place where historically marginalized communities — including the LGBTQ community — feel welcomed; especially not in time for meaningful change to take place before the 2022 awards season," Ellis shared via Twitter on Friday.

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Source: Sarah Kate Ellis/ Twitter

Ellis said the organization's claims of change are not enough, noting there is a "lack of transparency and accountability," and it is time for HFPA to reflect the "full intersectional diversity of Hollywood."

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