The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced new rules for future Golden Globe Awards Wednesday, making foreign language and animated films eligible for the group’s top award.
Moving forward, both non-English language motion pictures and animated motion pictures will be eligible for the Best Motion Picture-Drama and Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy awards, as long as they meet other eligibility requirements.
“As an organization composed of journalists from all backgrounds, the HFPA created the Best Foreign Language category to ensure films with subtitles were getting just as much recognition as English-speaking films in the U.S. market,” HFPA President Ali Sar said. “As we re-examined our guidelines this year and listened to the industry, we decided to adopt new approaches for future shows ensuring these films receive the attention they deserve. Language will no longer be a barrier to recognition as the best.”
Other changes announced Wednesday by the HFPA were:
— Renaming “Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language” award to “Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language.”
— Productions of stage plays, operas, concerts and other live events recorded on a theatrical stage or other similar venue (i.e. not adapted for production as a motion picture or television program) are now considered documentaries and are not eligible.
— Refining the definition of foreign television programs (programs produced principally outside the United States) which are eligible only if they are a co-production (both financially and creatively) with a U.S. partner and defined a “United States partner.”
— Requiring that all eligible episodes of television series must be a minimum of 20 program minutes.
— Updating the Golden Globe ballot certifications each member makes to comply with HFPA’s current conflicts disclosure requirements.
The HFPA and its signature event have been rocked by upheaval over the organization’s historical lack of Black members and questionable relationships with film companies, which led to NBC deciding not to air the Golden Globe Awards in January of next year.
Two members announced earlier this month that they were leaving the group, labeling it “a toxic place for working journalists.” Diederik van Hoogstraten of the Netherlands and Wenting Xu of China resigned their memberships in a letter to the HFPA board and lambasted the organization’s reform efforts as all show for the public.
On Wednesday, the group said it “continues to work on the transformational reforms announced in May, where it outlined five pillars of change — accountability, membership, inclusion, governance, ethics and transparency — which will guide the organization moving forward.”
Officials said the majority of the membership has completed diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions, and “significant strides have already been made in restructuring” the organization, including the passing of a revised code of ethical conduct prohibiting the acceptance of gifts and other inducements, the hiring of diversity, equity and inclusion advisors, and establishing a hotline allowing anyone to report an incident or allegation on an anonymous basis to be investigated by an independent firm.
“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is not only committed to creating a diverse, accountable and transparent association through our reform plan, but also bringing cultural understanding and proper recognition to all films and art through the Golden Globes,” Sar said. “We have listened to feedback from our partners around key eligibility changes. These will immediately go into effect, regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes, demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusivity throughout all aspects of our work.”