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May 2nd, 2022
Golden Globes’ Proposal to End Nonprofit Status Shredded by Legal Experts: ‘Conflicts All Over the Place’
Charitable Organizations Partner J.J. Leitner was quoted in the article, “Golden Globes’ Proposal to End Nonprofit Status Shredded by Legal Experts: ‘Conflicts All Over the Place’” published by TheWrap. The article discusses the legal and ethical concerns of a plan to reinvent the Golden Globes by turning the Hollywood Foreign Press Association into a for-profit company owned by billionaire Todd Boehly, the current interim CEO. J.J. and other attorneys with knowledge in nonprofits say that a for-profit structure would increase, not decrease, the lack of transparency that has befuddled the organization.
J.J. is quoted saying, “While it’s not illegal to change an organization from a profit to a nonprofit, the company would no longer be required to disclose its revenues, losses and the salaries of top officers as it now does. There’s no transparency when your records are not public anymore. You don’t know what people are getting.”
In regards to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association being a 501(c)6 membership organization rather than a 501(c)3 charitable organization, J.J. says there’s no difference in terms of the type of transparency that’s called for. “Whether you are a 501(c) 6 or a 501(c)3, your return to the IRS is the same form, Form 990. And everybody can look them up… you can look up how much money they make and what they spend, and what they spend it on.” For a membership organization with a voting body that has been challenged on transparency, J.J. says, a private company “just doesn’t make any sense to me. If I were taking this to the California Attorney General, I think it would be an uphill battle to get it approved at that level.”
Additionally, Todd Boehly has confirmed plans to add 200 nonmember voters, addressing the perception that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is less diverse because of its size. J.J. says, “giving a new, and presumably more diverse group the right to vote, but not to share in the proposed profits or salaries paid to members for committee work makes them second-class citizens within the organization.” She adds, “Let’s say [they] want to bring in more voters who presumably will be let’s say somewhere in the BIPOC universe, LGBTQ+ or whatever, [it’s still a] business where the white people are the owners and have a profit interest.” Concluding, “Other people, the new people who are the diversity class, don’t have any ownership. How can that possibly help them with a problem that they have?”
Read the full article here.
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