Former Academy President Reaches Out Directly to HFPA Members Offering ‘Fresh Start’ Alternative to Ending Nonprofit Status (Exclusive)

·2-min read

Former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs this week reached out directly to members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) offering a plan to partner with her Pacific Coast Entertainment (PCE) to offer a “fresh start” to the group behind the embattled Golden Globes.

Isaacs, who steered the movie academy through the #OscarsSoWhite controversy during her 2013-17 tenure, also criticized the “disappointing” lack of response from HFPA president Helen Hoehne and Todd Boehly, the billionaire investor who serves as interim CEO of HFPA. Boehly also owns MRC, the company that produces the Globes telecast and shares in the $60 million licensing fee from NBC for the show. In the letter Isaacs said her group had already sent two letters to the members, Hoehne and Boehly.

Update: in an explosive letter sent Friday to the members, Isaacs’ partner Yusef Jackson slammed the lack of formal process for transforming the HFPA and said that in a meeting with Hoehne on Friday he and Isaacs could get no clarity as to “whether Todd Boehly will serve as interim CEO of HFPA, an independent bidder, or both during the selection process.”

In the April 19 letter e-blasted to the HFPA members and obtained by TheWrap, Isaacs also sought to clarify her involvement with Pacific Coast Entertainment because “a number of you did not know of my affiliation…with PCE.” PCE is a partnership between Jackson, a Chicago-based private investor and son of civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson and well known entertainment and business professionals.

In the letter, Isaacs wrote: “Yusef and I have sent two letters to HFPA members and to Todd and Helen. I am thankful to those who’ve called expressing your interest in learning more about PCE. We have not, however, received a call from Helen or Todd. Candidly, this is disappointing.”

In what amounts to an extraordinary circumvention of HFPA leadership, Isaacs offered to meet with HFPA members in one-on-one and small group meetings to discuss the plan and offered her personal email to facilitate setting up meetings in Beverly Hills as well as over Zoom during the next few days. “I am an ‘open book’ and look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones,” she wrote.

In the letter, Isaacs does not outline details of her plan but appears to be offering an alternative to a Boehly’s recently-revealed plan to take HFPA from a nonprofit to a for-profit status, as well as adding 200 non-member voters for the Golden Globes.

An HFPA spokesman confirmed that members had received the April 19 letter, the HFPA had contacted Pacific Coast Entertainment and the two groups have initiated a conversation.

Isaacs did not immediately respond to request for comment.