HFPA Faces New Scrutiny Amid Report of Excessive Funds to Members, Lack of Black Members

The Hollywood Overseas Press Affiliation has steadily elevated the charges paid to members for varied duties associated to the Golden Globe Awards, in response to a report the Los Angeles Occasions that would elevate 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, significantly 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 revealed the Los Angeles Occasions on Sunday, the org’s rising observe of paying excessive charges to lots of its 87 members for varied duties, together with serving on committees and moderating panels, has raised eyebrows each out and in of the HFPA.

Based on the newspaper, the HFPA has budgeted $2.15 million in its present fiscal yr (which ends in June 2021) to pay members for varied causes. The paper famous that two dozen members obtained $3,465 to look at international 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 additional money (a complete of $585,000 within the fiscal yr ending June 2020).

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

Tax specialists quoted the newspaper referred to as the funds uncommon, particularly for a tax-exempt group. Insiders instructed the Occasions that the amount of cash paid to members started to dramatically improve a couple of decade in the past, when the journalism market started its fast financial slide.

Sources inform Selection that underneath the late HFPA president Lorenzo Soria, who died final August, the group had outdoors audits carried out 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 significantly benefited from the scores success of the Globes, which has change into one of many most-watched non-sports telecasts of the yr, 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 response to 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 largess laid out studio awards campaigns. The Occasions famous that HFPA members have been handled to a visit to Paris Paramount TV for a set go to for the Netflix comedy “Emily in Paris,” which shocked 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 other people aware of the junket dispute the truth that it was an out of the strange occasion, describing it as a finances journey with mediocre meals. As Selection has famous, “Emily in Paris” was a nomination that’s consistent with previous selections the group.)

Selection has reached out to the HFPA for remark. A supply near the org prompt that members are solely compensated after they present providers to the HFPA which might be outdoors their capability as members, performing as an alternative as staff. The supply mentioned HFPA’s compensation selections “are primarily based on an analysis of compensation practices related nonprofit organizations and market charges for such providers,” and vetted knowledgeable non-profit compensation marketing consultant and outdoors counsel.

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

“We’re aware of the unprecedented financial challenges dealing with our staff as a result of results of the pandemic,” an HFPA consultant instructed 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 dearth of Black membership within the HFPA. The Occasions reported that the 87-member group has restricted its membership for a few years partially as a consequence of considerations over competitors. The HFPA has a number of members of coloration, however no Black members. An HFPA spokesperson mentioned the group is “dedicated to addressing” the dearth of Black illustration.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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