The feared ‘lobby’ of the Golden Globes, accused of cartel before the judge

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 – 02:43

A Norwegian journalist filed a lawsuit Monday in the Los Angeles courts against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for monopolistic practices.

The entrance to the 2020 Golden Globes in Los Angeles.
MIKE BLAKE

  • The last Golden Globes.

    The night of ‘1917’

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which annually organizes the Golden Globes, has been charged with almost everything, directly or behind the scenes. From being a private club with difficult access, from being conditioned by large studios or from rewarding actors, actresses or films that are far from deserving of the award. But never to operate as a cartel, as if they were hired gangsters. That’s what a Norwegian entertainment reporter claims in a lawsuit in which she claims a culture of corruption prevails in which reporters use their influence to crush competition.

Kjersti Flaa is the name of the journalist who filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles. In it, she explains how access to the organization was repeatedly blocked and how members use their influences to achieve. junkets -promotions of films and series- and access to material that they later sell as exclusive in the media in which they work or collaborate. Many of them are freelance reporters.

Flaa, who collaborates with Scandinavian media, points directly to two colleagues, Aud Berggren Morisse and Tina Johnk Christensen, for campaigning against his admission. They fear, according to the lawsuit, that they will end the monopoly who have been practicing for years in the territories they cover. Flaa even promised to reduce her coverage to keep Morisse and Christensen happy, but they didn’t think it was enough.

Flaa’s attorney, David Quinto, indicates in the lawsuit that the HFPA is a non-profit organization that should benefit all members of the working class it represents – Foreign entertainment reporters residing in Southern California – alike. But it does not do such a thing.

Among other things, he accuses them of using the Golden Globes, traditionally considered as the prelude to the Oscars, as a way to monopolize access to directors, actors and producers in vogue at the time. Also to cover all the travel expenses to film festivals and junkets for its members, an account that each year far exceeds a million dollars.

The accused organization, for its part, has responded in a statement published by the magazine Variety. The HFPA takes its obligations as an organization seriously and his dedication to foreign journalism and philanthropy, and vigorously defend against these unsubstantiated claims. They claim that Flaa, who tried to gain access in 2018 and 2019, has launched a smear campaign against HFPA and has tried to intimidate them.

In the midst of an era of claiming equality and inclusion in Hollywood, the HFPA continues to carry the halo of being a restricted access organization with confusing behavior. It is not enough to be a journalist and a foreigner. Not even with a middleweight behind as backup. As a German journalist, a member of the association for years, explained, accessing is a more complex process because it involves entering an organization full of advantages. The 87 people who compose it enjoy trips to attend the filming, luxury hotels and restaurants, exclusive interviews with the great stars of Hollywood and even a souvenir at the end of many of the talks: a photo with the interviewee that many often post on their social networks.

Two sponsors are needed to recommend the candidate and that the candidate does not work or collaborate for an environment that poses a threat to some members. If you are part of the competition of someone from the same country, forget, he said. Among its practices is to expel journalists from exclusive press conferences for not belonging to the association, an attitude that has generated dislike among a part of the foreign press that also covers Hollywood.

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