The 84-member Hollywood Foreign Press Association is embroiled in controversy over a slate of new candidates that could result in what one member has described as "an all-out war" among factions, TheWrap.com reported Sunday. The HFPA, the group that hands out the annual Golden Globe awards, has throughout its existence had to fend off criticism that many, if not most, of its members are freelancers who earn their livelihoods in other professions and that they are aable to gain access to stars because of their association with the awards telecast. On Sunday, TheWrap.com's Sharon Waxman reported that the latest wrangle among its members broke out when Patricia Danaher, an Irish freelancer, objected to the proposed membership of another Irish writer, Lesley O'Toole, in a letter to HFPA president Philip Berk. O'Toole, Waxman wrote, is being backed by Berk and "a powerful faction" of the association. Her inclusion, Danaher and some unnamed British writers fear, would boost O'Toole's status and permit her to compete against them for access to the same U.K. newspapers and magazines that they write for. While the dispute over O'Toole may represent what Waxman called "the most public aggression in the conflict," other disputes, she said, have arisen over a total of nine new candidates who are under consideration for membership. The discord, she observed, could boil over at a general membership meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
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