BEVERLY HILLS— On Monday, August 3, Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa sued the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on accusations of antitrust violations an a “culture of corruption.”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is a non-profit organization of journalists and photographers. There are about 90 members from over 50 different countries. The HFPA conducts the annual Golden Globe Awards, which honors film and television.
Flaa is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has represented Norwegian outlets like TV2 and Dagbladet for more than a decade. In 2018 and 2019, she applied for membership with the HFPA and was twice denied. Flaa alleges that the denial was unlawful as she fulfilled all the requirements for admission.
The lawsuit stated: “The HFPA is so focused on protecting its monopoly position and taxfree benefits that it has adopted Bylaw provisions that exclude from membership all objectively qualified applicants who might possibly compete with an existing member. There are no standards or guidelines for satisfying the subjective portions of the applications process and rejected applicants have no right to demand either that the applications procedure be fair or that they be allowed to appeal an adverse decision made for obviously improper and unlawful reasons.”
It also added: “Foreign entertainment reporters in Los Angeles excluded from membership in the HFPA are greatly impaired in their ability to report stories that can generate meaningful income for them.”
In addition to the HFPA, the suit names former and current presidents Meher Tatna and Lorenzo Soria, and members Aud Berggren Morisse, Tina Johnk Christensen and Aniko Skorka Navai. Flaa claims that certain members reject applicants from their home territories to avoid competition.
Flaa is seeking to have California enforce the right of fair procedure to the HFPA, have the HFPA’s bylaws declared unlawful, and to recover economic damages she suffered.