The baffling decisions made by the Hollywood Foreign Press regarding which performances and media they chose to honor with Golden Globe nominations have to lead to many discussions about diversity and the persistent racism facing the industry. Ellen Pompeo, star of the medical mega-hit Grey's Anatomy, used her platform to call for "the members of the HFPA and White Hollywood" to utilize their influence for significant and lasting change.
Pompeo posted an open letter on her Instagram for her 9.1 million followers to read. "I think we can all agree that the governing body of the Golden Globe Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has a membership equity issue that is unacceptable," Pompeo begins. "This is a very solvable problem. This is Hollywood; we are master problem solvers."
While Pompeo doesn't get specific about a course of action, Pompeo has "faith that we can find it." However, Pompeo places the impetus to affect change on white people in Hollywood. "What we can not do… is leave this problem up to the black community and all our communities of color to fix," Pompeo explained. "This is not their problem; it’s ours."
Pompeo called for responsibility, requesting that her white colleagues put aside their discomfort for societal growth. "I would kindly ask, all my white colleagues in this industry, an industry that we love and has granted us enormous privilege… to pull up, show up, and get this issue resolved. Let’s show our black colleagues that we care and are willing to do the work to right the wrongs we have created. Now is not a time to be silent."
This isn't the first time Pompeo has spoken up on social issues, speaking out in 2018 on equal pay for women. She also made headlines in 2018 when she pointed out that actors have an enormous amount of privilege and that women with regular jobs do not have the same power positions. "We’re in very rarefied air," Pompeo said. "Women with normal jobs are in different situations than us, so I sort of feel very out of touch, or arrogant even, to talk about my fight for my pay . . . . My hairdresser of 12 years Thursday in tears walked off set because she did not feel she was being compensated fairly. . . . Even though we struggle in our industries, we’re struggling a lot less than, let’s say, people who are working normal jobs."
In the same Porter interview, Pompeo also noted the lack of diversity in the room. "This day has been incredible, and there’s a ton of women in the room, but I don’t see enough color," Pompeo pointed out. "And I didn’t see enough color when I walked into the room today. As Caucasian people, it’s our job; it’s our task. It’s our responsibility to make sure that we speak up in every single room we walk into . . . It’s our job because we’ve created the problem."