Saturday, October 16, 2021

In Response to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Bush League Shenanigans

 

In the interest of full disclosure: I am a member of the Critics Choice Association, so I cannot claim to be at all objective in this matter. However, since I share the sentiments of CCA CEO Joey Berlin — and have his permission to reprint this message sent to me and other members of the organization today — here goes.

And by the way: Views expressed are not necessarily those of any other publication or organization with which I am affiliated.

Also: Go to hell, Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Go directly to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect any TV network money.

 

To the Membership,

Perhaps you saw the Friday afternoon news dump from the scandal-ridden Hollywood Foreign Press Association announcing that it plans to present Golden Globe awards on the very day that we will be presenting the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards at the historic Fairmont Century Plaza.  This comes despite the fact that we announced the date of our show back in May — and the fact that we had been presenting our awards on the second Sunday in January for several years running (not counting last year, when COVID pushed everyone back a couple of months).

The purpose of this memo is to reassure every CCA member that our 27th annual Critics Choice Awards show is going to be our biggest and best yet and can only be helped by this hostile announcement from the new leadership of this other group.  If it is appropriate, I encourage you to share the gist of this message with your viewers, listeners, readers and followers, the louder the better.  Our friends in the industry understand all of the above, but it would be wonderful if the greater public did, too.

I believe this desperate move by the HFPA to try and undercut the Critics Choice Awards and the tremendous support we are receiving from all the major studios, networks and streamers is...really good for us!  For years we’ve been trying to draw the comparison between the tainted HFPA and the legitimate Critics Choice Association — which has five times as many members and no stink.  Our awards are the considered judgment of almost 500 active critics and entertainment reporters who cover film and television and collectively reach virtually every entertainment consumer in the US and Canada every day.  While the CCA proudly lists and displays pictures of all its members on our website, the HFPA has long hidden its tiny membership.  Only now is it attempting to come clean after having been very publicly disgraced for its prejudice, its crassness, and it's highly questionable business practices.  So, yes, let's make those comparisons!

In fact, in their desperate search for new legitimate members, some of you have been approached about joining them.  From their perspective, that makes sense.  After all, CCA members are already vetted and proved to be respected working critics and journalists.

From our perspective, we do feel bad for those HFPA members who are legitimate members of the foreign press and are suffering from the fact that so many companies have chosen to stop working with them.  We are even more sympathetic with the many members of the foreign press who have been unwelcome in the HFPA for decades, despite the fact that their collective reach is probably greater than the 80-some odd members of the HFPA who blackballed them when they sought membership.  This is why the CCA created its new International Branch, to accredit important and influential members of the foreign entertainment press who had been unable to join HFPA.

And please note that while that other group is entirely about their one big television show (and dispensing the riches it has generated), the CCA has long been a diverse and inclusive organization that is true to our mission all year long - to help audiences find the good stuff, and to help the people who make the good stuff find their audiences.  That's why we are presenting the Critics Choice Documentary Awards on November 14, and why we are hosting the Celebration of Black Cinema & Television on December 6 and the Celebration of Latino Cinema on December 9, as well as our other Critics Choice events.


Onward and upward!

 

Joey Berlin

CEO CCA

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