Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Creative Alliance Settle Their Legal Dispute and Agree to Work Together

The Hollywood Creative Alliance has ended its defamation lawsuit against the Critics Choice Association, as both sides announced Friday that they had reached an “amicable agreement.” In a joint announcement between CCA CEO Joey Berlin and HCA CEO Scott Menzel, the two sides said that the Critics Choice Association will once again allow its members to also be a part of the Hollywood Creative Alliance.

Also, Berlin has joined HCA’s advisory committee to “provide guidance on the best practices in awards show production and not-for-profit organization management,” and HCA has agreed to advise CCA on “best accessibility practices at its events.”

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In January, the Hollywood Creative Alliance (which was formerly known as Hollywood Critics Association) sued the Critics Choice Association after that org told its members that they had to resign from the HCA in order to stay members of the CCA.

“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 Critics Choice Association had given as reason. “Of course, that HCA threat was empty, but CCA cannot ignore this.”

Responding to that move with the defamation suit, the HCA in court documents claimed the CCA had defamed the organization in an “attempt to boycott and steal members of the HCA” and was seeking “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief” along with “appropriate compensatory remedies and fees and costs” in response to the organization’s actions.

Now, as part of the settlement, “both organizations acknowledge and respect that they are a part of the entertainment industry ecosystem that seeks to support and elevate the finest accomplishments in film and television,” the orgs said in their announcement.

“An unfortunate misunderstanding has been straightened out, and we are happy to be moving forward in our journey to serve our members, audiences, and the entertainment community,” Berlin said.

Added Menzel: “We are grateful to have settled this matter amongst ourselves and look forward to productively working together. We know that both organizations can positively impact the entertainment industry.”

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