Norwegian Reporter Kjersti Flaa Sues Hollywood Foreign Press Association Over Cartel-Like Member Rules
Norwegian entertainment reporter, Kjersti Flaa, sued the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that gives out the Golden Globe Awards, on Monday in Los Angeles for acting as a cartel that silences competition for its members.
Flaa claims that she has been repeatedly denied membership in the HFPA. Her suit asserts that the organization routinely denies qualified applicants whose work competes with that of existing members and that new applicants are required to pledge not to write for any publication claimed by a current member or a rival of that publication.
The suit states, “Qualified applicants for admission to the HFPA are virtually always rejected because the majority of its 87 members are unwilling to share or dilute the enormous economic benefits they receive as members.”
The HFPA responded to Flaa’s suit saying her claims “seem[s] consistent with Ms. Flaa’s ongoing attempts to shake down the HFPA, demanding that the HFPA pay her off and immediately admit her prior to the conclusion of the usual annual election process applied to every other HFPA applicant. The HFPA has refused to pay ransom, telling Ms. Flaa that membership was not gained through intimidation.”
Flaa’s suit also states that HFPA members enjoy numerous perks over their colleagues and competitors who are not members of the organization. “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.”
By filing her suit, Flaa is seeking to have the state of California enforce the right of fair procedure to the HFPA, a tax-exempt mutual benefit corporation, and to have the organization’s bylaws declared unlawful as well as gain personal economic damages she has not had access to since she has not been accepted as a member.
In the HFPA’s statement, the organization said it “takes seriously its obligations as an organization and its dedication to foreign journalism and philanthropy, and it will vigorously defend against these baseless claims.”