In a statement to Variety on Saturday, Scarlett Johansson revealed that she has been pulling away from HFPA press conferences due to “sexist questions and remarks.” She also said she believes her fellow industry members should distance themselves from the organization until significant changes have been made.
“As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows,” Johansson said. “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. The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition and the industry followed suit. Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, 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.”
The concerns regarding the HFPA were echoed in recent statements from Amazon Studios, Netflix, Time’s Up and others after the HFPA released their latest reform plan. The new reform plan was approved on Thursday and includes measures to increase the number of POC members in the Association.
“We have not been working with the HFPA since these issues were first raised, and like the rest of the industry, we are awaiting a sincere and significant resolution before moving forward,” said an Amazon Studios spokesperson in a statement.
The HFPA recieved a big wave of backlash in February when it was reveealed that the Association hadn’t had a single Black member in over two decades, and in April, it was found that former president Phil Berk had sent an email to members that called Black Lives Matter “a hate movement.” Berk was removed from the HFPA after sending the email.