HFPA Members Offered $120,000 Salaries as Part of Cheryl Boone Isaacs Group’s Bid to Buy the Golden Globes

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Former Film Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and her Pacific Coast Entertainment are offering Hollywood Foreign Press Association members an annual salary of $120,000 as part of its proposal to acquire the Golden Globes show while keeping the embattled organization itself as a nonprofit.

According to a copy of a term sheet sent to members and the HFPA’s board of directors that was obtained by TheWrap, Isaacs’ Pacific Coast Entertainment proposes sharing 20% of its Globes-related revenue with the HFPA and supporting individual HFPA members with a six-figure salary for a maximum of five years, plus $100,000 in a one-time COVID relief grant as well as health care, 401(k) and other benefits. PCE also proposes creating a member’s endowment with $5 million annual contributions that would help support the freelance-heavy pool of journalists.

Pacific Coast promises to use its resources to “deepen and accelerate the transformation” of the embattled group, which has struggled to win over Hollywood publicists, studios and networks that have boycotted the Globes for the last year. And in a separate email sent to members directly, PCE emphasizes that the proposal is not part of a “corporate takeover” of the HFPA but a long-term investment in the group. The monetary terms of its offer for the awards show were not disclosed — nor how the company would finance its bid.

The PCE proposal marks a striking contrast to one from billionaire hedge funder and acting HFPA CEO Todd Boehly, who seeks to have his own Eldridge Industries acquire the assets of the HFPA to turn the organization into a for-profit venture that he would run. Indeed, the PCE suggests that it would seek out a different production company than Boehly’s MRC to produce the Golden Globes show — and to split the $60 million licensing fee from NBC.

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“It is important to mention at the outset that PCE has identified experienced production companies with U.S. and international live-show expertise to produce the Golden Globe Awards broadcast,” the document says. “Also, PCE has attracted preliminary interest from major network distributors to return the show to air in time for its 80th Anniversary celebration next year.”

Representatives for PCE, which Boone Isaacs runs with Chicago-based investor Yusef D. Jackson, did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

According to a rep for the HFPA, Houlihan Lokey, the law firm handling its process to review proposals from interested parties, has yet to receive any official term sheet from PCE. The rep also took a swipe at the leak of the term sheet: “Continued mass emailing of members is not the process agreed upon by the Special Committee and is counterproductive to a thorough, comprehensive review. We hope any interested parties follow the correct process.”

Additionally, HFPA president Helen Hoehne privately responded to members regarding the PCE email, saying that their message to members “grossly misrepresents” a conversation that HFPA leadership had with PCE. She goes on to say that PCE itself could not answer basic questions about the company, its vision or the nature of its offer.

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“We were asked for upfront access to information concerning our inner financial operations, governance and review of all proposals that have been presented without any understanding of how PCE is structured,” Hoehne wrote in the email obtained by TheWrap. “Is it an investment fund? Who are its investors? What size assets do they have under management? Consequently, this lack of a basic understanding did not spur our conversation towards a positive direction.”

A rep for the HFPA could not verify whether leadership had met with PCE or about the veracity of Hoehne’s email to membership. Last week, the organization announced it had negotiated a term sheet with Boehly’s company to end its nonprofit status and allow it to shed all transparency about its finances and leadership — though the monetary terms also have not been disclosed.

As TheWrap previously reported, Boone Isaacs and PCE proposed a partnership with the HFPA in April and in an explosive letter accused Boehly of self-dealing for seeking to reform the HFPA while also pursuing his own proposal to turn the association into a for-profit group. “From our call it’s clear 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 HFPA,” the letter read.

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PCE is described as “a new company comprised of a diverse group of experienced and well-known business and industry professionals” specializing in “challenging company transformations.”

Boone Isaacs previously served as the first Black president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hosts the Oscars, and is noted for steering the organization through the #OscarsSoWhite crisis over its membership as well as the lack of diversity in its nominees and winners. She has been named founding director of the newly established, three-campus Sidney Poitier New American Film School at Arizona State University.

The HFPA has struggled to win over Hollywood publicists, studios and networks who boycotted the group following a 2021 Los Angeles Times report that exposed the group’s history of self-dealing and lack of even a single Black member. The outcry led NBC to cancel the 2022 broadcast. The group responded by adding 21 new members (six of them Black), appointing a chief diversity officer and other reform efforts, but TheWrap also reported that the PR boycott remains in place.

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