HFPA Accused of ‘Not Equitable’ Process to Change Golden Globes Ownership by Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ Group (Exclusive)

Pacific Coast Entertainment, a company co-owned by former Motion Picture Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, sent a letter to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association criticizing the group’s vetting process for a potential Golden Globes takeover.

In the letter sent by Isaacs’ partner, Yusef Jackson, to HFPA President Helen Hoehne, and obtained exclusively by TheWrap, the scandal-plagued organization was accused of creating a special committee to examine Pacific Coast Entertainment, made up of by three advisers who have “a long-standing financial track record.” relationship” with current HFPA CEO Todd Boehly, who is making his own offer to acquire HFPA through his hedge fund, Eldridge Industries.

“Millisecond. Hoehne, the process feels singled out to fix an outcome. To demonstrate that this Special Committee is truly independent, all members, including Mr. Boehly and the leadership team, must sign a simple pledge…affirming that they have no financial or pecuniary interest in any of the parties involved in this transaction and that they will not for at least two years after any transaction,” Jackson wrote.

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“In addition, the full membership must select the people who will serve on the Special Committee and the board must select new advisers. This step would offer a modicum of faith in the process,” he continued.

Isaacs’ offer would give PCE control of the Golden Globes and its annual awards broadcast while maintaining the HFPA’s status as a nonprofit organization, while Boehly’s offer would cause the HFPA to lose that status.

Other elements of PCE’s offer include annual salaries of $120,000 for HFPA members and an offer to split the $60 million license fee NBC pays to broadcast the ceremony with HFPA. PCE also suggested changing the production company that oversees the Golden Globes broadcast instead of sticking with MRC, which Boehly leads as chairman.

This is not the first time that Jackson, an investor and son of civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, has criticized Boehly and his influence over the HFPA in letters to the organization. As TheWrap reported last month, Jackson sent a letter to HFPA members accusing Boehly of self-dealing and questioning his ability to reform the organization as he sought to acquire it and turn it into a for-profit entity. “It is clear from our call that there is NO process and under the new bylaws, a small, select group, NOT the members, have all the power and control to determine the future of the HFPA,” Jackson wrote at the time.

TheWrap has reached out to the HFPA for comment and will update the story with any statement. Read Jackson’s full letter below.

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Dear Mrs. Hoehne,

After reading your published statement outlining the new process for submitting proposals, I would like to make our perspective clear and propose a path toward equity. From the beginning, we requested the opportunity to present our membership plan directly to members. We know that last July, Mr. Boehly used his position to present his initial plan to all members. Most recently, while serving as interim CEO in April 2022, he submitted a revised plan. For over a year, he has had access to members and confidential materials, has made presentations, and has not had to go through any Special Committees.

When Cheryl and I applied for the opportunity to propose a credible partnership between Pacific Coast Entertainment, LLC (“PCE”) and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (“HFPA” or “Association”), it dissuaded members from learning more about us. . Now, she has authorized a Special Committee made up of financial advisors and lawyers (“Advisors”) and three “independent” directors to examine us.

By definition, this is not equal access. Equally important and discouraging, the Advisors you selected have long-standing financial relationships with Eldridge Industries and Mr. Boehly’s Guggenheim Partners, undermining our confidence in the Advisors. It is not straightforward to present firms from Mr. Boehly’s negotiating team as impartial advisors in this process.

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As trustees, the HFPA Board of Directors must weed out these conflicting advisors and select new advisors from disinterested firms. The directors of the Special Committee are not elected by the members or the members of the Association. In fact, they were recently appointed to the board of directors in September 2021. Allegedly, the HFPA Board of Directors appointed these same three directors, the newest of them, to serve on the Special Committee, and those individuals are to consider issues existential. on the 80 years of the Association and its future.

Mrs. Hoehne, the process feels selected to fix an outcome. To demonstrate that this Special Committee is truly independent, all members, including Mr. Boehly and the leadership team, must sign a simple pledge (“The Pledge”) stating that they have no financial or pecuniary interest in any party. involved in this transaction, and will not do so for at least two years after any transaction. In addition, the full membership must select the people who will serve on the Special Committee and the board must select new advisors. This step would offer a modicum of faith in the process.

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If transformation is truly a priority for the HFPA, then signing The Pledge is one way to restore integrity and credibility to the Association and its processes at the start of this next chapter. The way is narrow and time is short. Pacific Coast Entertainment, LLC, is a Delaware registered company, formed by Cheryl Boone Isaacs and myself, and advised by several notable industry professionals. We have sent a preliminary term sheet to Houlihan Lokey, as requested by her, and we want to partner with you.

As directors of PCE, Cheryl and I will support a non-disclosure agreement that does not prohibit us from disclosing non-confidential information to members. This precedent of introducing all members and the board at the same time, and also communicating with members, was set by Mr. Boehly over the last year, and it would be unfair to put us now in a position to choose between communicating with members and accessing to the data room.

Please answer as soon as possible.

To be honest,

Yusef D Jackson

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