AceShowbiz - Diversity was front and centre at the Golden Globes on Sunday, February 28, as officials from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association promised to ensure black journalists had "a seat at our table".
Bosses at the media organisation behind the annual awards ceremony have been under fire in recent days after a Los Angeles Times report revealed that while there were a significant number of people of colour among its 87 members, none of them were black.
The news sparked an uproar in the lead up to the prizegiving, and prompted co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to skewer HFPA executives for the lack of black representation in the group during their opening sequence of the televised show.
"The HFPA is made up of about 90 international - no black - journalists," Fey quipped, as Poehler acknowledged: "A lot of flashy garbage got nominated. But that happens, that's like their thing. A number of black actors and black-led projects were overlooked..."
"Inclusivity is important, and there are no black members of the HFPA," Fey went on to state. "I realise you didn't get the memo, HFPA, because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald's, but you gotta change that. So here's to changing it."
Three representatives from the HFPA then took to the stage and vowed to make amends going forward.
Vice president Helen Hoehne, of Germany, began: "While we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognise we have our own work to do. Just like in film and television, black representation is vital. We must have black journalists in our organisation."
"We must ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities get a seat at our table - and we are going to make that happen," continued former HFPA president Meher Tatna, of India, as the organisation's current leader, Turkey's Ali Sar, concluded, "That means creating an environment where diverse membership is the norm, not the exception. Thank you, and we'll look forward to a more inclusive future."
The issue continued to be raised throughout the broadcast, as celebrities like guest presenter Sterling K. Brown joked, "It's great to be black at the Golden Globes, I mean back," while "Schitt's Creek" co-creator and star Dan Levy expressed his hope for a more inclusive membership in the near future.
As he accepted the award for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy, he said, "In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, this ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today, because there is so much more to be celebrated."