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HFPA Membership Suit: “One benefit members receive flows from the importance that motion picture studios assign to winning Academy Awards. Motion picture studios annually spend millions of dollars on “Oscar campaigns.” The HFPA confers its Golden Globe awards while members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are in the process of deciding which persons and achievements will be nominated to contend for an Oscar. Winning Golden Globe awards is therefore viewed both as a means to create “buzz” for a successful Oscar campaign, and as a predictor (or self-fulfilling prophesy) of success on Oscar night. As a consequence, studios go far out of their way to accommodate HFPA members by inviting them to attend every industry function, event, and screening, and, most importantly, making their top producers, directors, actors, and other talent available for exclusive interviews with HFPA members. When foreign entertainment reporters make their seasonal migration to Los Angeles for “Awards Season,” they, like their Los Angeles-based brethren excluded from membership in the HFPA, find themselves competing for any invitations and interview slots that remain after the HFPA’s members have gotten their fill. The opportunities for HFPA members to ply their trade to the exclusion of non-members are not limited to “awards season” but are continual and ongoing. All year long, HFPA members enjoy all-expenses-paid trips to film festivals around the world where the studios treat them lavishly and accommodate their every desire. They do so because such concepts as “conflict of interest,” “impropriety,” “impartiality,” and “appearance of objectivity” are unknown to the HFPA. Further, there is no special requirement for voting such as, for example, watching the nominated motion pictures and television shows. One member now in is upper 90s is, sadly, deaf and legally blind. He does, however, cast one of the 87 votes that determine who will win a Golden Globe.”

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