Hollywood Creative Alliance
Formation2016; 8 years ago (2016)
FounderScott Menzel
PurposeTo amplify diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and culture within the world of entertainment.
Location
CEO
Scott Menzel
Websitehollywoodcreative.org
Formerly called
  • Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society
  • Hollywood Critics Association

The Hollywood Creative Alliance (HCA) is a 501 c6 membership-based non-profit organization of critics, entertainment journalists, content creators, industry influencers, and creatives.[1] The vision and mission of the HCA is to amplify diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and culture within the world of entertainment. It was founded in 2016 as the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society and renamed in 2019 to Hollywood Critics Association.[2] In 2023, Hollywood Critics Association ceased operations and a new organization called Hollywood Creative Alliance took its place, with its awards called the Astra Awards.[3]

History

Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society

In 2016, Scott Menzel, Scott Mantz, and Ashley Menzel noted that Los Angeles only had one film critic organization.[4] They founded the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society to be a critics group that is diverse and supports underrepresented voices.[4] The group originally separated directing honors by gender.[5] "There has been so much conversation about the power of female filmmakers and we wanted to embrace it," said Scott Mantz.[6]

In early 2019, the organization had a film discussion podcast called "Film Critics Weekly" on the defunct online broadcasting network "Popcorn Talk".[7]

Hollywood Critics Association

In 2019, the organization rebranded as Hollywood Critics Association.[2]

On January 30, 2020, the Critics Choice Association reached out to its membership “on advice of legal counsel” after deeming it unacceptable for CCA members to also retain membership in another critics group, known as the Hollywood Critics Association.  The letter continued by stating "The CCA will be protecting its rights in this matter. At this time you have the opportunity to choose to remain in the CCA. Simply confirm that you choose to do so and that you have resigned from HCA. And when it changes the offending name to something that reflects its laudable mission you can freely rejoin at that time, while remaining a CCA member in good standing." [8]

On May 15, 2020, the organization organized a Film & Television Triviathon to collect funds for COVID-19 recovery.[9]

On August 9, 2022, The Hollywood Critics Association partnered with Petco Love and Big Love Animal Rescue to turn their television awards ceremonies into a two-night rescue animal adoption event. There is no evidence of any dogs being adopted as a result. “We hope to shine a spotlight on shelter dogs and help a few of them find their forever homes,” adds HCA Co-Founder, Ashley Menzel. “When you rescue a dog, they are forever grateful. Dogs know you saved them and they share their love unconditionally every single day. We are so glad to be hosting this adoption event as it is a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts.”[10]

On August 30, 2022, The Hollywood Reporter reported that nine of the group's members had recently resigned, "roughly 7 percent of its membership tally just two weeks ago" amid questions about the organization's finances and allegations of voting irregularities.[11]

On June 2, 2023, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that HCA President Nikki Fowler had resigned from the organization citing a "hostile, biased" work environment.[12] On June 14, 2023, The Wrap announced that the Hollywood Critics Association is restructuring and bringing in a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advisor.[13]

Hollywood Creative Alliance

On August 28, 2023, the organization changed its name to Hollywood Creative Alliance with the guidance of corporate operation strategist Leslie Short of the Cavu Group.[3] Under Short's instruction, the HCA was reformed as a 501 c6 membership-based non-profit organization.[14][15][16]

On January 16, 2024, The Hollywood Reporter stated that the board of the Critics Choice Association (CCA) enacted a new policy that prohibits members of the HCA from maintaining their membership in the CCA; if members wish to remain a part of the former organization, they must inform them that they have "successfully resigned" from the latter.[17] The CCA board explained in a message sent by CCA staff member, Dera Freund, “the reason CCA has taken this action is that we have evidence that a representative of the HCA has improperly suggested to at least one studio (and we suspect more) that it could influence Critics Choice Awards voting in a way that led that studio to reach out to CCA and request that action be taken to protect the integrity of our awards,” the message reads. “Of course, that HCA threat was empty, but CCA cannot ignore this.” [18]

On January 18, 2024, the HCA issued a statement responding to Critics Choice Association's new policy: “The recent statement made by the Critics Choice Association (CCA) regarding the Hollywood Creative Alliance (HCA) is factually inaccurate. At no time have we tried to influence the awards votes of our members or make any suggestion to talent or studios that we would or could exercise such influence. During our awards outreach to studios, networks, and personal representatives, we presented an opportunity to have their talent attend and/or present at our ceremonies. During these conversations, we acknowledged that our awards ceremonies took place during a key voting period for various organizations and noted that several of our members belonged to several guilds and organizations; ones that we champion and support.”[19][20]

On January 19, 2024, The Hollywood Reporter reported that on Jan. 3, HCA founder, Scott Menzel, sent an email declaring: "It's important to note to ALL TALENT that the Critics Choice voting opens this weekend, and there are about 50 members who are part of both groups ... I really would hammer that point home... because it could be a make or break for a lot of people." He also highlighted other organizations saying "there are several other members who are in BAFTA, SAG and the Academy…" [21]

On January 30, 2024, Variety revealed that the HCA is suing the Critics Choice Association for defamation in response to the org’s recent call for members to resign from the HCA in order to stay members of the CCA. [22] On the same day, The Wrap noted that "the lawsuit accuses CCA of trade libel and defamation, violation of the Cartwright Act (California’s antitrust law), intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and violation of California’s unfair competition law." [23]

Awards History

On January 10, 2018, the group held its first annual Film Awards at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles.[24] On August 29, 2021, the HCA held its inaugural Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards. The event was originally to take place in-person but was shifted to virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[25] Ashley Menzel said, "Over these past 14 months, many of us have been watching more television than ever before. This is why we are absolutely delighted that our first in-person event for 2021 will begin with a brand-new event paying tribute to the best of television".[26]

On February 28, 2022, the HCA held its 5th Annual Film Awards at the Avalon Hollywood. Apple TV+'s CODA took home Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur. Kristen Stewart won Best Actress for her role in Spencer and Andrew Garfield won Best Actor for his performance in Tick, Tick... BOOM!.[27] On August 13 and 14, 2022, the HCA hosted their 2nd Annual HCA TV Awards at the Beverly Hilton. The two-night event dedicated one night to broadcast and cable networks and the other to streaming platforms. Dulcé Sloan hosted night one while Cameron Esposito hosted night two.[28]

On October 13, 2022, HCA President Nikki Fowler announced the Inaugural Creative Arts Awards, "dedicated to celebrating those behind the scenes who don't often get the level of recognition they deserve."[29] On December 15, 2022, Variety shared the list of nominations for the 6th Annual HCA Film Awards and the Inaugural HCA Creative Arts Awards noting that A24's Everything Everywhere All at Once leads the HCA Film Awards total nominations with 16.[30] On February 16, 2023, The Hollywood Critics Association announced a new partnership with KNEKT Television Network where the Film Awards would be live-streamed on their network in addition to the official HCA App and YouTube channel.[31]

On February 24, 2023, The 6th Annual HCA Film Awards took place at the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel. A24's Everything Everywhere All At Once took home a total of six awards.[32] On June 27, 2023, Awards Daily revealed the 2023 HCA Midseason Movie Awards nominees.[33] Amazon Studios' Air and A24's Past Lives tied for the most nominations with seven each. On June 30, 2023, Gold Derby revealed the 2023 HCA Midseason Movie Awards winners.[34] Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was awarded Best Picture and Best Director. Past Lives won the most awards with three wins, including Best Actress for Greta Lee, Best Screenplay for Celine Song, and Best Indie Film.

In December 2023, HCA renamed its awards to the Astra Awards.[3] The nominations for the 2024 Astra Film & Creative Arts Awards were announced on December 7, 2023 by Yong Chavez, Jeandra LeBeauf, Morgan Rojas, Ms. Marvel star Anjali Bhimani and Melora Hardin from Golden Vanity.[35]

Film Award categories

Each December, the association releases the nominations for the HCA Film Awards, which are held in January of the following year.[6]

Current categories

Honorary Awards

End of a Decade Awards

Midseason Award categories

Halfway through the year, the association releases the nominations for the HCA Midseason Film Awards, which honor films that come out in the first half of the respected year. The nominations are announced the last week of June, and winners are announced the first week of July.

Current Categories

TV Award categories

The Hollywood Critics Association announced that they were launching the HCA TV Awards on March 24, 2021.[36] The inaugural TV awards ceremony took place on August 22, 2021.[37] The following is a list of the current and discontinued categories of the television awards as of 2023.[38]

Current categories

Honorary Awards

Creative Arts Film categories

The Hollywood Critics Association announced the launch of the HCA Creative Arts Film Awards on October 13, 2022. The inaugural Creative Awards Awards ceremony took place on February 24, 2023.[39] The following is a list of the current categories of the Creative Arts Film awards as of 2022.

Current categories

Creative Arts TV categories

Along with announcement of the 3rd HCA TV Awards, the Hollywood Critics Association announced the launch of the HCA Creative Arts TV Awards along with the TV awards, the inaugural Creative Awards TV Awards ceremony date has yet to be announced due to the 2023 Hollywood labor disputes. The following is a list of the current categories of the Creative Arts awards as of 2023.[40]

Current categories

Award ceremonies

Film

Midseason

TV

Creative Arts Film

Creative Arts TV

References

  1. ^ "HCA Unveils Initial Plans to Expand the Organization". Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  2. ^ a b Schneider, Michael (March 24, 2021). "Hollywood Critics Association Launches New TV Awards, First to Separate Streaming From Broadcast/Cable". Variety. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Schneider, Michael (December 1, 2023). "HCA Awards Rebrands as 'The Astra Awards'; Jeffrey Wright, Abby Ryder Fortson, Glenn Howerton to Receive Honors (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 3, 2023. Retrieved December 8, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "About Us". LA Online Film Critics Society. 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Rizzo, Carita (January 11, 2017). "'Shape of Water,' 'Lady Bird' Win Top Honors at L.A. Online Film Critics Society Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Achar, Alberto (December 5, 2017). "New Film Critics Group Separates Best Director Category Between Men and Women for 2017 Nominations". Indiewire. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  7. ^ "Film Critics Weekly". Popcorn Talk Network. August 3, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  8. ^ Gardner, Chris (February 13, 2020). "Hollywood Critics' Groups Squabble Over Who Is a Hollywood Critic". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  9. ^ Graff, Gary (May 15, 2020). "Hollywood Critics Association hosts Triviathon fund-raiser". The Morning Sun. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  10. ^ Rice, Lynette (August 9, 2022). "HCA TV Awards Reveals Hosts & Virtuoso Award Winner". Deadline. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  11. ^ Feinberg, Scott (August 30, 2022). "Hollywood Critics Association in Turmoil as Numerous Members Resign, Including President, Amid Questions About Finances and Voting". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  12. ^ "Hollywood Critics Association President Resigns, Citing "Hostile, Biased" Work Environment (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. June 2, 2023. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  13. ^ "Hollywood Critics Association to Restructure Amid Accusations of Racial Bias". June 14, 2023. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  14. ^ "HCA Unveils Initial Plans to Expand the Organization". Hollywood Creative Alliance. August 28, 2023. Archived from the original on October 23, 2023. Retrieved October 23, 2023.
  15. ^ Schneider, Michael (August 27, 2023). "Hollywood Critics Association Reveals New Name, Restructuring Following Controversies (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on October 23, 2023. Retrieved October 23, 2023.
  16. ^ The Hindu Bureau (August 28, 2023). "Hollywood Critics Association renamed Hollywood Creative Alliance amid controversy". The Hindu. Archived from the original on October 23, 2023. Retrieved October 23, 2023.
  17. ^ Zee, Michaela (January 17, 2024). "HCA Members Will No Longer Maintain Membership in Critics Choice Association, New Policy States". Variety. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  18. ^ Zee, Michaela (January 17, 2024). "HCA Members Will No Longer Maintain Membership in Critics Choice Association, New Policy States". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  19. ^ Roe, Mike (January 18, 2024). "HCA Denies Trying to Improperly Influence Critics Choice Awards". TheWrap. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  20. ^ Feinberg, Scott (January 9, 2024). "HCA Disputes Allegations of Influence Peddling As Questionable Communication Comes to Light (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 20, 2024.
  21. ^ Feinberg, Scott (January 19, 2024). "HCA Disputes Allegations of Influence Peddling As Questionable Communication Comes to Light (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved January 20, 2024.
  22. ^ Bell, BreAnna (January 31, 2024). "HCA Launches Defamation Suit Against Critics Choice Association". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  23. ^ Lincoln, Stephanie Kaloi and Ross A. (January 31, 2024). "HCA Sues Critics Choice Association for Defamation". TheWrap. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  24. ^ Rizzo, Carita (January 11, 2018). "'Shape of Water,' 'Lady Bird' Win Top Honors at L.A. Online Film Critics Society Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  25. ^ Schneider, Michael (August 17, 2021). "Hollywood Critics Association Cancels Sunday's In-Person TV Awards, Shifts to Virtual on Aug. 29 (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  26. ^ "Hollywood Critics Association Announces Dates for TV Awards & Film Awards – Hollywood Critics Association". Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  27. ^ Urban, Sasha (March 1, 2022). "Hollywood Critics Association Awards 2022: 'CODA' Wins Best Picture, Jane Campion and Denis Villeneuve Tie for Director". Variety. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  28. ^ Tinoco, Armando (August 15, 2022). "HCA TV Awards: 'Severance' Tops Streaming Winners In Night 2, Joining 'The White Lotus', 'Abbott Elementary', 'Better Call Saul'". Deadline. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  29. ^ "Hollywood Critics Association Announces Inaugural Creative Arts & 6th Annual Film Awards Dates – Hollywood Critics Association". Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  30. ^ Davis, Clayton (December 15, 2022). "A24's 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' Leads HCA Film Awards Total Nominations With 16". Variety. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  31. ^ "The Hollywood Critics Association Announces Additional Honorees, Presenters, and Partnership with Knekt Television Network for the 2023 Awards". Awards Daily. February 16, 2023. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  32. ^ "HCA Film Awards 2023 Winners: Everything Everywhere All at Once Wins Six Trophies, SS Rajamouli's RRR Bags Four; Brendan Fraser, Michelle Yeoh Score Best Actor Awards – See Full List". LatestLY. February 25, 2023. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  33. ^ "Hollywood Critics Association Announces Nominees for 2023 HCA Midseason Movie Awards". June 28, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  34. ^ "2023 HCA Midseason Awards: 'Across the Spider-Verse' wins Best Picture; 'Barbie' tops 'Oppenheimer' as most anticipated release [FULL WINNERS LIST]". June 28, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  35. ^ Prusakowski, Steven (December 7, 2023). "Hollywood Creative Alliance Announces 2024 Astra Film and Creative Arts Nominations". Awards Radar. Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  36. ^ Schneider, Michael (March 24, 2021). "Hollywood Critics Association Launches New TV Awards, First to Separate Streaming From Broadcast/Cable". Variety.
  37. ^ Pedersen, Erik (July 8, 2021). "HCA TV Awards Nominations: 'Ted Lasso' Leads Programs For Inaugural Honors; NBC, HBO & Netflix Lead Nets". Deadline Hollywood.
  38. ^ "2023 TV Award Submissions". Hollywood Critics Association. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  39. ^ "2022/2023 Film Awards Calendar". AwardsWatch. May 13, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  40. ^ "Hollywood Critics Association's Creative Arts Category Nominations for the 2023 HCA TV Awards". Hollywood Critics Association. July 11, 2023. Retrieved July 14, 2023.