HFPA Faces New Scrutiny Amid Report of High Payments to Members, Lack of Black Members

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The Hollywood Overseas Press Affiliation has steadily elevated the charges paid to members for numerous duties associated to the Golden Globe Awards, in line with a report by the Los Angeles Occasions that would increase tax questions for the nonprofit journalism group and its members.

The small, close-knit HFPA has lengthy been scrutinized for a lot of of its practices, notably as its signature Golden Globes Awards has grown in affect, viewership and license charges from NBC. A lot of that focus has been on the wining and eating of HFPA members, and the way a lot costly journeys to movie and TV units, swag and different perks affect the Globes’ nomination and voting course of.

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However in a brand new story printed by the Los Angeles Occasions on Sunday, the org’s rising observe of paying excessive charges to a lot of its 87 members for numerous duties, together with serving on committees and moderating panels, has raised eyebrows each out and in of the HFPA.

In accordance with the newspaper, the HFPA has budgeted $2.15 million in its present fiscal 12 months (which ends in June 2021) to pay members for numerous causes. The paper famous that two dozen members obtained $3,465 to look at overseas movies in January, whereas members of a journey committee are paid $2,310 a month, whereas archives committee members every earn $2,200 a month and movie pageant committee members are paid $1,100 a month. A historical past committee pays members $1,000 a month.

Information convention moderators earn $1,200 a month, whereas articles for the HFPA’s web site additionally earn members further money (a complete of $585,000 within the fiscal 12 months ending June 2020).

The HFPA additionally compensates its board handsomely, the Occasions writes, noting that 5 officers had been paid between $63,433 and $135,957 within the tax 12 months ending June 30, 2019. Board administrators had been paid between $22,915 and $78,079 in the identical time-frame.

Tax specialists quoted by the newspaper referred to as the funds uncommon, particularly for a tax-exempt group. Insiders informed the Occasions that the sum of money paid to members started to dramatically improve a few decade in the past, when the journalism market started its speedy financial slide.

Sources inform Selection that beneath the late HFPA president Lorenzo Soria, who died final August, the group had exterior audits performed on its compensation practices. The org is believed to have made small changes to make sure its compliance with tax legal guidelines governing nonprofits. Soria was in his third time period as HFPA president, which began in 2019, on the time of his demise.

The HFPA has additionally tremendously benefited from the rankings success of the Globes, which has turn into one of many most-watched non-sports telecasts of the 12 months, and now earns the org $27.four million from NBC, a haul that’s up greater than $3.6 million from 2017. Inside paperwork present that the HFPA had $50 million in money readily available on the finish of October, in line with the Occasions. The licensing charges have additionally allowed the HFPA to extend the quantity of its charitable contributions, with greater than $5 million in grants to an array of organizations in 2020.

The HFPA has lengthy confronted criticism that its nominations are influenced by largess laid out by studio awards campaigns. The Occasions famous that HFPA members had been handled to a visit to Paris by Paramount TV for a set go to for the Netflix comedy “Emily in Paris,” which stunned some awards prognosticators in touchdown a Globe nom for greatest comedy collection. (However HFPA members weren’t flown to the junket, which was related in nature to different occasions for contenders. And folks accustomed to the junket dispute the truth that it was an out of the atypical occasion, describing it as a funds journey with mediocre meals. As Selection has famous, “Emily in Paris” was a nomination that’s according to previous selections by the group.)

Selection has reached out to the HFPA for remark. A supply near the org advised that members are solely compensated once they present providers to the HFPA which are exterior their capability as members, appearing as a substitute as staff. The supply mentioned HFPA’s compensation choices “are primarily based on an analysis of compensation practices by related nonprofit organizations and market charges for such providers,” and vetted by knowledgeable non-profit compensation advisor and out of doors counsel.

The supply additionally famous that the HFPA has no extremely paid non-member executives and stories compensation paid to key staff and officers through the IRS, and characterizes that compensation as “comparatively modest.”

“We’re aware of the unprecedented financial challenges going through our staff as a result of results of the pandemic,” an HFPA consultant informed the L.A. Occasions. “The HFPA is dedicated to sustaining the continuity of our expert and skilled workforce to make sure our future success, and can proceed to compensate them for the vary of providers they supply to the group.”

A associated L.A. Occasions story put the highlight on the shortage of Black membership within the HFPA. The Occasions reported that the 87-member group has restricted its membership for a few years partly as a consequence of issues over competitors. The HFPA has a number of members of shade, however no Black members. An HFPA spokesperson mentioned the group is “dedicated to addressing” the shortage of Black illustration.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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