Courtesy: SundanceTV

Today, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) hosted a special “Women Breaking Barriers: Where Are We Now?” panel at the SundanceTV Headquarters, moderated by HFPA member Elisabeth Sereda. Panelists included accomplished women and men from various fields in the film industry including Jenna Elfman (Golden Globe-winning actress), Cassian Elwes (Award-winning producer, “Mudbound”), Kyra Sedgwick (Golden Globe-winning actress), and Octavia Spencer (Golden Globe-winning actress and producer). Sundance Institute’s Executive Director Keri Putnam and HFPA member Silvia Bizio opened the panel with a brief Q&A followed by an HFPA announcement that the organization will continue to show support to the Sundance Institute’s Women’s programs by donating $50,000. To date, the HFPA has donated $100,000 to this program.

During the discussion, panelists spoke about the progress made in the last year and how to continue the momentum moving forward towards gender parity in the industry. 

Spencer, who has expressed gratitude to Jessica Chastain in the past for making a stand for equal pay, said today, “We need advocates and allies in negotiating.” She continued, “When I was negotiating my deal for Madam C.J., Lebron James had to intervene. We need all of our male counterparts to be in the fight with us.”

Continuing on the topic of men joining the conversation, Elwes spoke about the learning curve in Hollywood and relayed an anecdote from a recent conversation with a lawyer negotiating on behalf of a male co-star during which the lawyer was fighting for his client to make more than his female counterpart. Cassian received a round of applause after explaining that the conversation concluded with Elwes stating,” I have two words for you, man, Time’s Up.”

Sedgwick ended the panel with a message to all women in the entertainment industry.  “Women always have to work harder than men because we’re in a patriarchal system. So, we have to work harder.” Sedgwick added, “If you’re in a woman in power in Hollywood right now and you’re not reaching down and pulling up another woman, you’re f*cking up.”

 For more than 25 years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has donated over $33 million to entertainment related charities, scholarship programs and humanitarian efforts. Grant recipients of the HFPA fall in four major areas: nurturing the development of young artists in film and television through support for scholarships, fellowships and education; preserving the culture and history of motion pictures by supporting film preservation; promoting cultural exchange and understanding through support for major programs and exhibitions that utilize film to ignite critical dialogue; and supporting special projects, educational and cultural activities connected with the entertainment industry. The HFPA began giving grants as early as 1989 to institutions such as University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC) and the American Cinematheque, which continue to receive support today. The HFPA has created endowments at Los Angeles colleges and universities to help underserved students such as Los Angeles Community College and California State University, Northridge. 

Licensing fees obtained from the Golden Globe Awards® has allowed the HFPA to support over 80 nonprofits focused on these pillars as well as journalistic organizations committed to freedom of speech and organizations that support natural disaster relief and other international and humanitarian crises.  

About the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was founded in 1943 as the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association (HFCA) by a group of entertainment journalists representing world media in Hollywood, who realized the need to unite and organize to gain the recognition and access to studios and talent accorded to the domestic press. All qualified journalists were accepted, with the bold goal of “Unity Without Discrimination of Religion or Race.” A year later, the HFCA created the Golden Globe Awards which, to this day, the entire membership selects, votes on and awards every year for outstanding achievements in motion pictures and television. Members of the HFPA represent 56 countries with a combined readership of 250 million in some of the world’s most respected publications. Each year, the organization holds the third most watched awards show on television, the Golden Globe® Awards, which has enabled the organization to donate more than $33 million to 80 entertainment-related charities, scholarship programs and humanitarian efforts over the last 25 years. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter (@GoldenGlobes), Instagram (@GoldenGlobes), and Facebook (