A judge in Los Angeles Superior court has granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association from a former member who was expelled from the Golden Globes group in October, according to documents obtained by TheWrap.
Magnus Sundholm, a Swedish journalist who had been with the HFPA since 2008, sued the group after claiming in his suit he was unfairly booted from the HFPA. The HFPA had accused him of “fraudulent, illegal conduct that was contrary to the interests of the HFPA,” and that he had misrepresented that he and his attorney were “authorized to represent the HFPA in matters before the IRS.”
Sundholm has stated the issue was rooted in a filing mistake, and according to his suit, the HFPA used it as a pretext to dismiss him after he had filed a whistleblower complaint against the organization. It also claimed that the HFPA had retaliated because of his relationship with Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa, who had filed her own antitrust suit against the HFPA after she was barred from joining the organization.
“The court’s ruling was an important step toward putting this matter behind us,” Helen Hoehne, president of the HFPA, said in a statement on Thursday. “It is also an important reminder that our bylaws matter and that we meant what we said when we pledged, as part of our recent reforms, that misconduct by members will not be tolerated. While we are pleased with the court’s ruling, our members’ focus remains on our meaningful work, especially as we prepare for the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards.”
Sundholm, when reached for comment by TheWrap, said that “the judge asked us to correct some errors and gave us the opportunity to amend the complaint. We will do so.”
The HFPA is undergoing reforms after a Los Angeles Times exposé found that the organization had no Black members, leading to a boycott of the Golden Globes among Hollywood publicists and the awards show not being televised earlier this year.