Kelly Preston stars alongside Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire in 1996
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Tom Cruise, 58, has become the latest in a series of celebrities to take a stand against the Golden Globes organisers, in a united from again the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)’s “lack of diversity”. The actor returned his three gongs in protest, joining the likes of five-time Globes nominee Scarlett Johansson, who has refused to participate in the organisation’s conferences due to receiving “sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment” in the past.
This has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment
The HFPA oversees the TV and film prizes, and the backlash comes after it emerged in February that none of its estimated 90 members are black.
Cruise was awarded trophies for Best Actor, which he won for Jerry Maguire (1997), another Best Actor prize he was given for Born on the Fourth of July (1993) and the Best Supporting Actor gong he won for Magnolia in 2000.
US outlet Deadline revealed Cruise is the first to hand back the awards and others are suggested to follow suit in due course.
Not only have some of Hollywood’s biggest names critiqued the HFPA, the programme had also been dropped by US network NBC, which will not air the 79th annual ceremony in 2022.
In a statement, the network said: “We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. 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 organisation executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”
Streaming sites Netflix and Amazon and WarnerMedia, which owns HBO and Warner Bros, previously said they would not work with the HFPA until it introduced more meaningful reform.
Netflix chief executive Ted Sarandos said the streaming giant’s relationship with the HFPA was on hold “until more meaningful changes are made”.
Following an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, there was widespread uproar as more Hollywood stars began to speak out against the organisation.
Johansson statement specifically called out both issues with diversity as well as concern over sexism in the HFPA, where she added: “As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows.
“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.”
Her Marvel colleague Mark Ruffalo, also shared his “disappointment” at the lack of diversity in the membership of the HFPA.
He said: “Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past.”
The organisation was hit with more criticism for this year’s list of nominations, which saw none of this year’s Black-led potential Oscar best picture contenders, including Da 5 Bloods, Judas and the Black Messiah and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, among its finalists for the group’s top film prize, leading to international uproar.
When asked about it, a representative commented: “We do not control the individual votes of our members.
“We seek to build cultural understanding through film and TV and recognise how the power of creative storytelling can educate people around the world to issues of race, representation, and orientation.”
Earlier this month, the HFPA announced it would focus on recruiting underrepresented groups for new membership over the next 18 months, Variety reported.
More than 90 percent of the HFPA board voted to begin the reform process to address these issues, as reported by Deadline, which includes the hiring of a Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer.
Express.co.uk contacted the organisation for comment.
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