Posted on Mon Jan 17, 2011 02:47 PM PDT
It seems Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais' cracks about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association accepting bribes to nominate films like The Tourist weren't too far off.
Former GG lead publicist Michael Russell, who had held his position since 1993, filed a $2 million lawsuit Thursday after he and his company were immediately fired for accusing the HFPA of accepting "payola", aka bribes, in connection with the show.
The suit also claims HFPA president Philip Berk, who is named as a defendant, refused to end the alleged "unethical and potentially unlawful deals" many of the 90-some members engage in.
The suit states:
- "Berk expressly acknowledged to Russell that these activities were problematic and the HFPA was a corrupt organization, that itâ€™s members are only out to use the organization to generate income for themselves and that many conflicts of interest exist with regard to the above-specified activities of the HFPA and itâ€™s members."
In case you're wondering what these alleged "bribes" entail, here are a list of allegations from the suit:
- -HFPA members accept lavish vacations, junket lodging, gifts and awesome freebies provided by studios, in exchange for their support in nominating specific films.
-Members sell their media credentials for cash by offering space on the red carpet.
-Members offer low profile or unknown media outlets an opportunity to cover the Globes, in exchange for cash.
-Members accept payment from studios and producers for "representing" films
-Members accept payment in exchanged for promoting other HFPA members for Globe nominations and awards.
Reps for the HFPA released a statement claiming the "allegations are completely without merit," and reveal, "this is no more than the case of a disgruntled former consulting firm, whose contract was not renewed, attempting to take advantage once again of the Globeâ€™s international stage for their own gain.â€
Those Golden Globes don't come for free!
Is it fair for HFPA members to accept bribes?
A-Listers Let Loose After The Golden Globes - Jan 16, 2012
George Clooney, The Artist Top List Of 2012 Golden Globes Winners - Jan 15, 2012
X17 LIVE - Golden Globes Backstage - Jan 15, 2012
Get Ready For The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards! - Jan 15, 2012
Golden Globe Nominations Go To The Artist, Ryan Gosling, George Clooney - Dec 15, 2011