This past week, actor Tom Cruise astonishingly returned his three Golden Globe awards to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). The reason for this action: a stunning lack of diversity and inclusion within the HFPA has led to nationwide criticism of the awards show. This situation emphasizes the importance of intentional action as we create both diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Each one of us has a choice. We can choose whether or not to participate in a system that suppresses and discriminates against others. When confronting this predicament, Tom Cruise chose a reassuring path that emphasizes the three Cs of inclusion, renouncing the titles given by a discriminatory organization and showing us that we, too, can create progress.
- This change starts by being curious and questioning why things are the way they are. In regards to the Golden Globes, Tom Cruise opened his mind to critical thinking and asked why, in 2021, there was still a distinct lack of Black members in the HFPA.
- Being an ally and driving change requires courage, as exemplified by Tom Cruise’s bold actions. Allyship means being intentionally inclusive and saying “NO” to the old ways of suppression, even if this takes the form of prestigious awards. We each have a role to play, and that will involve bravery from each one of us.
- Continuing to increase awareness calls for commitment. We must continue the momentum of this moment to break from the old ways of discrimination. From small daily changes to famous actors making a statement, we have to dedicate ourselves to this movement to ensure success.
There is a ripple effect in Hollywood, resulting in companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Warner Brothers boycotting the Golden Globe awards. These boycotts grew into a massive wave demanding change as NBC announced the cancellation of the 2022 awards ceremony, calling for immense change within the HFPA. Through this messaging, NBC and other organizations have demonstrated the importance of standing up for diversity and inclusion. This event illuminates the power that organizations have to create change and illustrates the intentional commitments we must make to ensure inclusion.
Stories like this excite me because they create a strong positive ripple effect that challenges oppression and helps to increase awareness. By channeling this progress, we can continue the momentum of change and champion the values of DEI on a larger platform. Through this event, we see the power of both the individual and the organization as a whole to create impactful change and motivate positive progress.
Dima Ghawi is the founder of a global talent development company. Her mission is providing guidance to business executives to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and to implement a multi-year plan for advancing quality leaders from within their organization.