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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: David Livingston/GC Images

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) on Monday pledged to bring on at least 13 Black members, following public backlash over the group's lack of diversity.

Why it matters: Hollywood has long struggled to embrace diversity, but last years' Black Lives Matters protests have forced the industry to reckon with its own shortcomings around race in a more meaningful way than ever before.

  • The Oscars said last year following the nationwide anti-racism protests that films vying for awards would need to hit new diversity requirements.

Details: "As a demonstration of our commitment, the board has unanimously approved a plan to increase membership to a minimum of 100 members this year, with a requirement that at least 13 percent of the membership be Black journalists,” the group said in a statement, per the Hollywood Reporter.

  • The HFPA has been facing calls for change by Hollywood elites ever since the Lost Angeles Times published a damning profile of the group last month, which found that the group does not have any Black members, and may not apply the most unbiased criteria when selecting nominees.

Driving the news: On Monday, more than 100 Hollywood publicity firms threatened to pull clients from HFPA events and interviews unless the group committed to substantial changes moving forward, the Wrap notes.

  • "We recognize we have our own work to do," the group's vice president Helen Hoehne said during the Golden Globes telecast last month. "Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.”
  • The company said in a statement following the show that it would work in consultation with outside advisors to "oversee reforms and be accountable" for changes around diversity.

The big picture: A new report from McKinsey last week found that Black-led films are underfunded and Black and minority leads remain underrepresented across the industry, per Axios' Courtenay Brown.

  • The report found that the industry could reap an additional $10 billion in annual revenues—about 7 percent more than the assessed baseline of $148 billion, if it addressed persistent racial inequities within the industry.

Bottom line: Hollywood has a long way to go in addressing its decades-long shortcomings around race, but with the help of public pressure, it's starting to make some changes.

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.