Email From HCA Leader Told Studios Org Could Be ‘Make or Break’ in Critics Choice Awards Voting

In a Jan. 3 email from Hollywood Creative Alliance founder/co-CEO Scott Menzel to studio publicists ahead of Critics Choice Awards voting, he asked for them to “hammer that point home” to talent that around 50 of its members were part of both the HCA and the Critics Choice Association, TheWrap has learned. Menzel added that these voters “could be a make or break for a lot of people… 50 votes is a LOT.”

On Thursday, the Hollywood Creative Alliance disputed the characterization by the CCA that they had told studios they could influence Critics Choice Awards voting in a way that was improper. Earlier in the week, the CCA told its members that, in response to these comments, critics who were part of both groups were now required to resign from the HCA to maintain their CCA membership.

An HCA spokesperson told TheWrap that these comments were part of larger conversations with studios, networks and talent representatives. “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.”

Read more of the comments to studio publicists from Menzel that helped to spark this dispute below:

“I do think 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 including two of us in leadership,” founder Scott Menzel wrote, noting that those members are himself and co-CEO Yong Chavez. He added, “plus there are several other members who are in BAFTA, SAG and the Academy… I really would hammer that point home… because it could be a make or break for a lot of people… 50 votes is a LOT.”

The comments sent to studio publicists were first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

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