Golden Globes vot­ers hit with an­titrust law­suit

The Korea Times - - CULTURE -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AFP) — The exclusive group of film jour­nal­ists that awards the Golden Globes was ac­cused Mon­day of sab­o­tag­ing non-mem­bers while gorg­ing on lav­ish perks and un­par­al­leled ac­cess to Hol­ly­wood stars.

An an­titrust law­suit filed against the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press As­so­ci­a­tion said the or­ga­ni­za­tion il­le­gally mo­nop­o­lized en­ter­tain­ment re­port­ing in Los An­ge­les while cre­at­ing near-im­pos­si­ble bar­ri­ers to en­try for new mem­bers.

“All year long, HFPA mem­bers en­joy all-ex­penses-paid trips to film fes­ti­vals around the world where the studios treat them lav­ishly and ac­com­mo­date their ev­ery de­sire,” said the suit brought by Nor­we­gian jour­nal­ist Kjer­sti Flaa.

“Qual­i­fied ap­pli­cants for ad­mis­sion to the HFPA are vir­tu­ally al­ways re­jected be­cause the ma­jor­ity of its 87 mem­bers are un­will­ing to share or di­lute the enor­mous eco­nomic ben­e­fits they re­ceive as mem­bers,” it adds.

The HFPA wields con­sid­er­able power due to its an­nual Golden Globes — one of Tin­sel­town’s big­gest and glitzi­est award shows, which is seen as a key step to suc­cess at the all-im­por­tant Os­cars.

Yet its mem­ber­ship — which ex­clu­sively de­cides who walks away with the cov­eted Globes each year — is shrouded in mys­tery.

Though some mem­bers work for well-re­spected for­eign me­dia out­lets, many are free­lancers writ­ing for ob­scure pub­li­ca­tions.

The law­suit de­tails in­stances of mem­bers be­ing wined and dined by Hol­ly­wood studios, in­clud­ing a Dis­ney press trip to a Sin­ga­pore five-star ho­tel last year.

“The studios, of course, re­sent hav­ing to lav­ish enor­mous sums of money on, and be­ing re­quired to cater to, the de­sires of a few dozen aging jour­nal­ists who are reg­u­larly heard snor­ing through screen­ings, but given the im­por­tance of the Golden Globes, they see no way to end the farce,” says the law­suit.

Flaa, the plain­tiff, ap­plied for mem­ber­ship in 2018 and last year, but was re­jected both times.

In her law­suit, she ac­cuses ri­val Scan­di­na­vian jour­nal­ists of block­ing her en­try even though she is qual­i­fied to join ac­cord­ing to HFPA cri­te­ria.

Any for­eign jour­nal­ist seek­ing en­try must be spon­sored by two mem­bers, and a new­comer’s ap­pli­ca­tion can be re­jected if one mem­ber of the as­so­ci­a­tion ve­toes it.

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