The members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, an organization which has been mired in controversy for the past year and a half over its lacking diversity and ethics, have voted to adopt a proposal from Eldridge Industries LLC — an investment firm founded and run by Todd L. Boehly, who is the HFPA’s interim CEO — to create a new private entity to manage its Golden Globes assets and preserve its charitable and philanthropic programs in a separate non-profit entity.
The new venture will result in the development of staff and an executive team, according to a statement issued by the HFPA on Thursday. Additional Golden Globes voters will also be added to increase the size and diversity of the available voters for the annual awards. (The statement does not indicate whether the new voters will receive full membership status and privileges.)
The HFPA asserts that Boehly was not part of the review, recommendation or approval process.
“This is a historic moment for the HFPA and the Golden Globes,” HFPA president Helen Hoehne said in a statement. “We have taken a decisive step forward to transform ourselves and adapt to this increasingly competitive economic landscape for both award shows and the journalism marketplace. Our Special Committee and team of legal and financial advisors did an incredible amount of work in reviewing, analyzing and comparing the options presented to us. We are excited to move forward with a mandate to ensure we continue our support for increasing diversity in all areas and maintaining our life-changing charitable and philanthropic efforts.”
The HFPA declined to answer questions from THR or any other media outlet at this time, but did make several other assertions in its statement, which are directly quoted below:
The plan involves the creation of a new private company, which would acquire all rights for the Golden Globes intellectual property and be empowered to oversee the professionalization and modernization of the Golden Globe Awards.
In recent months, the HFPA’s financial advisor, Houlihan Lokey, yielded several submitted proposals from a number of companies and investment groups. Each proposal was reviewed and analyzed by the HFPA’s Special Committee, alongside its legal advisor, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
The HFPA embarked on this review of potential strategic alternatives in response to significantly changed market conditions for journalism and recent inquiries about potential partnership opportunities to leverage its attractive assets in a post-pandemic environment. It also sought to ensure viable pathways for future growth in order to generate financial stability for its significant charitable and philanthropic programs.
The Special Committee was composed exclusively of the three outside independent members of the HFPA’s board: Sharlette Hambrick, Jeff Harris and Dr. Joanna Massey.
“This review process was comprehensive, deliberate and thoughtful to ensure fairness and accuracy,” Hoehne added. “Per our bylaws, the decision ultimately rested with our membership, who voted on the proposal. As we look forward to celebrating our 80th anniversary event in January 2023, we are incredibly excited about this new era for our Association.”
The HFPA remains committed to continuing its process of change and transformation to address issues of diversity, governance, and conduct. The HFPA does not intend to comment further until it determines that additional disclosure is appropriate or necessary.