The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is the organization behind the Golden Globes each year.

WHAT IS THE HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION?

The HFPA was founded in 1943 as a nonprofit organization for journalists and photographers that report on the activities and interests of those in the entertainment industry. It provides this information to international information outlets, such as newspapers, magazines, television, and radio broadcasting.

The first Golden Globe awards aired in 1944 and honored the first Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Film awards to Jennifer Jones, Paul Lukas, and The Song of Bernadette. The organization split into The Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association and the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood in 1950 before rejoining in 1955 to become what it is today. The Golden Globes began honoring television programs that same year.

As a nonprofit, the HFPA donates money to various entertainment-related charities. With the Golden Globes bringing in around $10 million in broadcasting, the HFPA annual Grants Banquet is held to distribute those funds. Some money is also used to restore older films, including 1933’s King Kong and 1950’s Woman on the Run.

Officers and directors of the HFPA are elected annually, while a maximum of five journalists may be admitted each year. Requirements for membership include having primary residency in Southern California, attendance in at least four monthly general membership meetings, and a minimum of four published articles or photographs per year outside of the U.S. In addition, in order to retain an “active” status in the organization, one must be currently accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America and submit work each year – if not, one will be reassigned to a non-voting “affiliate” status.

The organization currently has about 90 journalists, and membership never goes over 100. This means that winners at the Golden Globes are determined by a very small group of people. While many are legitimate reporters in foreign countries, some are fairly random. One member, Alexander Nevsky (real name Sasha Kuritsyn) is a bodybuilder who told the Hollywood Reporter that he joined the HFPA because he was “just plain curious.” As such, winners of the Golden Globes are often unpredictable, and the Globes have been accused of choosing winners unfairly, based on fame and favors.