At the 2021 ceremony, HFPA members Helen Hoehne, Meher Tatna and Ali Sar took the stage to address the diversity issue and share their hope for a “more inclusive future.” As Hoehne said, “Tonight, while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognize we have our own work to do… Like in film and television, Black representation is vital.”
Tatna added, “We must ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table and we are going to make that happen.” Sar said he wanted to create an “environment where diverse membership is the norm, not the exception.”
Last week, the HFPA voted to implement changes aimed at recruiting a more inclusive membership, per Deadline.
In response, Netflix chief Ted Sarandos wrote a letter to HFPA’s Leadership Committee, vowing that the streaming platform would be “stopping any activities” with the body “until more meaningful changes are made,” according to Deadline.
HFPA president Ali Sar wrote back to Sarandos in a letter published by The Hollywood Reporter on May 7. “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,” it read in part. “We are proud that our plan was overwhelmingly approved by more than 90 percent of the membership—there is no question the membership is embracing this opportunity.”
E! News has reached out to Cruise’s rep for comment, as well as the HFPA.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)