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

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has steadily elevated the charges paid to members for numerous duties associated to the Golden Globe Awards, in response to a report by the Los Angeles Times 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, notably as its signature Golden Globes Awards has grown in affect, viewership and license charges from NBC. Much 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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But in a brand new story printed by the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, the org’s rising observe of paying excessive charges to lots 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.

According to 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 acquired $3,465 to look at overseas movies in January, whereas members of a travel committee are paid $2,310 a month, whereas archives committee members every earn $2,200 a month and movie competition committee members are paid $1,100 a month. A historical past committee pays members $1,000 a month.

News 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 12 months ending June 2020).

The HFPA additionally compensates its board handsomely, the Times 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 consultants quoted by the newspaper referred to as the funds uncommon, particularly for a tax-exempt group. Insiders instructed the Times that the sum of money paid to members started to dramatically improve a couple of decade in the past, when the journalism market started its speedy financial slide.

Sources inform Variety 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 enormously benefited from the rankings success of the Globes, which has change 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. Internal paperwork present that the HFPA had $50 million in money readily available on the finish of October, in response to the Times. 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 Times famous that HFPA members had been handled to a luxurious journey to Paris by producer Paramount TV for a set go to for the Netflix comedy “Emily in Paris,” which stunned awards prognosticators in touchdown a Globe nom for greatest comedy collection.

Variety has reached out to the HFPA for remark. A supply near the org instructed that members are solely compensated after they present companies to the HFPA which can be exterior their capability as members, appearing as an alternative as staff. The supply stated HFPA’s compensation selections “are based on an evaluation of compensation practices by similar nonprofit organizations and market rates for such services,” and vetted by knowledgeable non-profit compensation guide 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 by way of the IRS, and characterizes that compensation as “relatively modest.”

“We are mindful of the unprecedented economic challenges facing our employees due to the effects of the pandemic,” an HFPA consultant instructed the L.A. Times. “The HFPA is committed to maintaining the continuity of our skilled and experienced workforce to ensure our future success, and will continue to compensate them for the range of services they provide to the organization.”

A associated L.A. Times story put the highlight on the shortage of Black membership within the HFPA. The Times reported that the 87-member group has restricted its membership for a few years partly because of considerations over competitors. The HFPA has a number of members of coloration, however no Black members. An HFPA spokesperson stated the group is “committed to addressing” the shortage of Black illustration.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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