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HFPA member Jenny Cooney didn’t see ‘a problem’ with having ZERO Black Golden Globes voters

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association made it clear in a brief segment during Sunday night’s Golden Globes that they will try to get more Black members, though a current member reveals the organization didn’t see ‘a problem’ with it before.

Jenny Cooney represents her native Australia in the HFPA, which runs the Golden Globes every year, and she was asked in an interview with Today Australia about the controversy.

While there hasn’t been a Black member of the HFPA since at least before 2002, Cooney never thought the organization had a diversity problem.

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Problem: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association made it clear in a brief segment during Sunday night's Golden Globes that they will try to get more Black members, though a current member reveals the organization didn't see 'a problem' with it before

Problem: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association made it clear in a brief segment during Sunday night's Golden Globes that they will try to get more Black members, though a current member reveals the organization didn't see 'a problem' with it before

Problem: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association made it clear in a brief segment during Sunday night’s Golden Globes that they will try to get more Black members, though a current member reveals the organization didn’t see ‘a problem’ with it before

Globes: Jenny Cooney represents her native Australia in the HFPA, which runs the Golden Globes every year, and she was asked in an interview with Today Australia about the controversy

Globes: Jenny Cooney represents her native Australia in the HFPA, which runs the Golden Globes every year, and she was asked in an interview with Today Australia about the controversy

Globes: Jenny Cooney represents her native Australia in the HFPA, which runs the Golden Globes every year, and she was asked in an interview with Today Australia about the controversy

‘I think for the HFPA, we’ve always considered ourselves such a culturally diverse group. I think 35% of our members are non-European, from everywhere from North Africa, Philippines, Bangladesh, Japan,’ she began.

‘So the fact that there was not a Black member was not really anything we focused on because we were accepting and welcoming everybody from around the world that was based in L.A. that wrote for foreign publications, that was just our criteria,’ she continued.

‘The fact that there was no Black members we didn’t really consider a problem, and now of course we realize that we should have been much more proactive about really going out of our way to recruit and work with the media, the journalists, the foreign press, everywhere,’ she added.

Culturally diverse: 'I think for the HFPA, we¿ve always considered ourselves such a culturally diverse group. I think 35% of our members are non-European, from everywhere from North Africa, Philippines, Bangladesh, Japan,' she began

Culturally diverse: 'I think for the HFPA, we¿ve always considered ourselves such a culturally diverse group. I think 35% of our members are non-European, from everywhere from North Africa, Philippines, Bangladesh, Japan,' she began

Culturally diverse: ‘I think for the HFPA, we’ve always considered ourselves such a culturally diverse group. I think 35% of our members are non-European, from everywhere from North Africa, Philippines, Bangladesh, Japan,’ she began

When asked if she didn’t realize it was a problem because she’s white, she added that she’s always around people of other colors, and she thought diversity was more about, not about skin color, but about nationalities and where people came from.’

She added that since they were writing for foreign publications, she didn’t understand that, ‘we had to go and find a Black person. It sounded very strange.’

She also said that they, ‘always welcomed everybody, and if someone had applied, we would have welcomed them with open arms.’

Strange: She added that since they were writing for foreign publications, she didn't understand that, 'we had to go and find a Black person. It sounded very strange'

Strange: She added that since they were writing for foreign publications, she didn't understand that, 'we had to go and find a Black person. It sounded very strange'

Strange: She added that since they were writing for foreign publications, she didn’t understand that, ‘we had to go and find a Black person. It sounded very strange’

Open arms: She also said that they, 'always welcomed everybody, and if someone had applied, we would have welcomed them with open arms'

Open arms: She also said that they, 'always welcomed everybody, and if someone had applied, we would have welcomed them with open arms'

Open arms: She also said that they, ‘always welcomed everybody, and if someone had applied, we would have welcomed them with open arms’

Cooney added now they’re having, ‘a dialogue with all the groups involved,’ including Black journalist organizations.

She said they want to, ‘get it handled as soon as possible and there will be more announced about that.’

‘Keep in mind all the members of the HFPA have to be vetted first by the Motion Picture Association. It was a way of us making sure all of our members were legit journalists, and the MPAA did not have a Black member in their national directory at all,’ Cooney said. 

Dialogue: Cooney added now they're having, 'a dialogue with all the groups involved,' including Black journalist organizations

Dialogue: Cooney added now they're having, 'a dialogue with all the groups involved,' including Black journalist organizations

Dialogue: Cooney added now they’re having, ‘a dialogue with all the groups involved,’ including Black journalist organizations

‘Not to throw them under the bus, but that was the pool that we were choosing from and we’ve now realized that we can’t rely on the studios, we can’t rely on anybody else,’ she added.

Cooney said they’re talking with other organizations like Time’s Up to come up with a way, ‘to support African-American journalists who are based in L.A. to get foreign outlets.’  

She continued that the whole controversy was, ’embarrassing and… kind of alarming that we could have gone so long [without a Black member],’ but she hopes the situation will be much better next year.

‘I really feel like this time next year, we would have I would hope at least three or four Black members, and we’ll be working with organizations and the studios to make sure that they are encouraging all of those countries around the world to send more Black journalists into L.A. so that we can embrace them and help them on their way,’ Cooney said. 

Organization: Cooney said they're talking with other organizations like Time's Up to come up with a way, 'to support African-American journalists who are based in L.A. to get foreign outlets'

Organization: Cooney said they're talking with other organizations like Time's Up to come up with a way, 'to support African-American journalists who are based in L.A. to get foreign outlets'

Organization: Cooney said they’re talking with other organizations like Time’s Up to come up with a way, ‘to support African-American journalists who are based in L.A. to get foreign outlets’

Source: Daily Mail |World News

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