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HFPA Under New Scrutiny Amid Report of High Payments to Members

The Hollywood Overseas Press Affiliation has steadily elevated the charges paid to members for numerous duties associated to the Golden Globe Awards, in accordance to a report by the Los Angeles Occasions that might elevate tax questions for the nonprofit journalism group and its members.

The small, close-knit HFPA has lengthy been scrutinized for a lot of of its practices, significantly as its signature Golden Globes Awards has grown in affect, viewership and license charges from NBC. A lot of that focus has been on the wining and eating of HFPA members, and the way a lot costly journeys to movie and TV units, swag and different perks affect the Globes’ nomination and voting course of.

However in a brand new story revealed by the Los Angeles Occasions on Sunday, the org’s rising follow of paying excessive charges to many of its 87 members for numerous duties, together with serving on committees and moderating panels, has raised eyebrows each out and in of the HFPA.

In accordance to the newspaper, the HFPA has budgeted $2.15 million in its present fiscal 12 months (which ends in June 2021) to pay members for numerous causes. The paper famous that two dozen members acquired $3,465 to watch overseas movies in January, whereas members of a journey committee are paid $2,310 a month, whereas archives committee members every earn $2,200 a month and movie competition committee members are paid $1,100 a month. A historical past committee pays members $1,000 a month.

Information convention moderators earn $1,200 a month, whereas articles for the HFPA’s web site additionally earn members additional money (a complete of $585,000 within the fiscal 12 months ending June 2020).

The HFPA additionally compensates its board handsomely, the Occasions writes, noting that 5 officers have been paid between $63,433 and $135,957 within the tax 12 months ending June 30, 2019. Board administrators have been paid between $22,915 and $78,079 in the identical timeframe.

Tax consultants quoted by the newspaper known as the funds uncommon, particularly for a tax-exempt group. Insiders informed the Occasions that the quantity of cash paid to members started to dramatically improve a few decade in the past, when the journalism market started its speedy financial slide.

Sources inform Selection that underneath the late HFPA president Lorenzo Soria, who died final August, the group had outdoors audits performed on its compensation practices. The org is believed to have made small changes to guarantee its compliance with tax legal guidelines governing nonprofits. Soria was in his third time period as HFPA president, which began in 2019, on the time of his demise.

The HFPA has additionally drastically benefited from the scores success of the Globes, which has turn out to be one of the most-watched non-sports telecasts of the 12 months, and now earns the org $27.4 million from NBC, a haul that’s up greater than $3.6 million from 2017. Inside paperwork present that the HFPA had $50 million in money available on the finish of October, in accordance to the Occasions. The licensing charges have additionally allowed the HFPA to improve the quantity of its charitable contributions, with greater than $5 million in grants to an array of organizations in 2020.

The HFPA has lengthy confronted criticism that its nominations are influenced by largess laid out by studio awards campaigns. The Occasions famous that HFPA members have been handled to a visit to Paris by Paramount TV for a set go to for the Netflix comedy “Emily in Paris,” which shocked some awards prognosticators in touchdown a Globe nom for greatest comedy sequence. (However HFPA members weren’t flown to the junket, which was related in nature to different occasions for contenders. And folks accustomed to the junket dispute the truth that it was an out of the odd occasion, describing it as a finances journey with mediocre meals. As Selection has famous, “Emily in Paris” was a nomination that’s in step with previous decisions by the group.)

Selection has reached out to the HFPA for remark. A supply shut to the org steered that members are solely compensated once they present providers to the HFPA which are outdoors their capability as members, appearing as a substitute as staff. The supply mentioned HFPA’s compensation selections “are based mostly on an analysis of compensation practices by related nonprofit organizations and market charges for such providers,” and vetted by knowledgeable non-profit compensation guide and out of doors counsel.

The supply additionally famous that the HFPA has no extremely paid non-member executives and experiences compensation paid to key staff and officers through the IRS, and characterizes that compensation as “comparatively modest.”

“We’re aware of the unprecedented financial challenges going through our staff due to the consequences of the pandemic,” an HFPA consultant informed the L.A. Occasions. “The HFPA is dedicated to sustaining the continuity of our expert and skilled workforce to guarantee our future success, and can proceed to compensate them for the vary of providers they supply to the group.”

A associated L.A. Occasions story put the highlight on the shortage of Black membership within the HFPA. The Occasions reported that the 87-member group has restricted its membership for a few years partly due to issues over competitors. The HFPA has a number of members of colour, however no Black members. An HFPA spokesperson mentioned the group is “dedicated to addressing” the shortage of Black illustration.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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