Actress Scarlett Johansson joins criticism of voting body behind Golden Globes

Scarlett Johansson is the latest high-profile name to criticise the voting body behind the Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: AFP

American actress Scarlett Johansson has accused certain members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) of being "sexist", as she called for a boycott of the organisation unless it adopts fundamental reforms.

Johansson, 36, is the latest high-profile name to criticise the voting body behind the Golden Globe Awards, which had voted for sweeping reforms last week after being slammed by Hollywood for its record on diversity.

On Saturday (May 8), she said in a statement: "As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows.

"In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences."

Johansson, known for playing the superhero Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, underlined that reforms are needed.

She said: "Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organisation, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole."

Johansson's statement followed that of fellow Avengers actor Mark Ruffalo, 53, who said on Friday that he could not "feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award" after he won Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film for his dual role in HBO's I Know This Much Is True (2020).

"It's discouraging to see the HFPA, which has gained prominence and profited handsomely from their involvement with film-makers and actors, resist the change that is being asked of them from many of the groups that have been most disenfranchised by their culture of secrecy and exclusion," said the actor, who plays the Hulk in the MCU films.

"Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past."

The HFPA had on Thursday approved a series of reforms such as raising membership by 50 per cent in the next 18 months - including with more black journalists, by hiring diversity consultants and changing the opaque rules on admission.

However, several artistes and groups said the reforms did not go far enough, with Amazon Studios and Netflix saying they have suspended working with HFPA unless more significant changes are made.

The HFPA has been under fire since February after a Los Angeles Times investigation said it did not have a single black member over two decades.

The report also raised ethical issues over the close relationships between the HFPA and movie studios, which may influence the choice of Golden Globe nominees and winners.

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