Sunshine Sachs, PR firm for HFPA, quits struggling Golden Globes organization

Sunshine Sachs, the longtime public relations firm of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, dropped the organization behind the Golden Globe as a client, Variety confirmed.

The PR firm has represented the HFPA since 2011, but the Golden Globes organization has come under fire since early 2021 when the Los Angeles Times reported that the HFPA had no black members and participated to unethical business practices. The HFPA pledged to undergo sweeping reforms, diversify and expand its membership, restrict paid travel and accepted gifts, and revamp its bylaws. Even so, NBC pulled out as broadcaster of the 2022 Golden Globes, and this year’s winners were announced on the Golden Globes Twitter account. The 2022 ceremony focused on Golden Globes partners and philanthropic efforts, and HFPA President Helen Hoehne revealed in a letter obtained by Variety that she invited celebrities to attend the awards show like normal years, but many did not accept the offer.

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At the start of the ongoing controversy over the HFPA last year, 102 public relations firms sent the organization a letter demanding “deep and lasting change”. Sunshine Sachs was not among the signatories, but sources say the company supports HFPA reforms.

A spokesperson for the HFPA responded with a statement, saying the decision was mutual. “The HFPA’s decade-long relationship with Sunshine Sachs has provided invaluable service in representing the Association, its members and the Golden Globes. The Association is grateful for the collaboration. Earlier this week, the HFPA and Sunshine Sachs mutually agreed to a transition in its communication. The HFPA plans to in-house its communications operations and Sunshine Sachs will continue to be available to provide strategic advice. A fresh perspective is welcomed by the HFPA as it continues to push its reforms and DEI efforts and raise awareness in the greater Hollywood community of all the significant changes that have been implemented by the Association,” the statement read.

Sunshine Sachs is run by Ken Sunshine and Shawn Sachs, and the company is based in New York City with offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin, and Washington D.C. The company’s client list includes A-list celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Natalie Portman, Salma Hayek, Eva Longoria, Jane Fonda and many more. The PR firm also represents the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars.

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Laura J. Boyer