#GlobesSoWhiteMale: How the 2020 Golden Globes Failed Women and People of Color

2019 Golden Globe Awards - Season 76
2019 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: “2019 Golden Globe Awards” Key Art — (Photo by: NBC)

As the Golden Globe nominees were raddled off one-by-one this morning, many people left scratching their heads at some of the glaring omissions of actors, actresses, writers and directors who’s names were conspicuously omitted as Tim Allen, Dakota Fanning and Susan Kelechi Watson stood on the dais. As the morning progressed and bloggers and social media had time to really analyze this years Golden Globe nominations, one thing was very apparent, there were numerous women and people of color snubbed from major nominations in favor of the ever-long list of white male actors, directors and writers.

As a black TV blogger, this was on the top of my mind and I had to get this off my chest. First things first, I’m not writing this saying all black people, latinx people, asian people and women should be nominated because we’re a marginalized groups of people. That is certainly not the case here. This is a legitimate outcry to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on why so many woman and people of color were omitted from this years nomination list. Many people DESERVED to be nominated for their work that’s been universally praised by critics and viewers around the country and around the world.

Film Title: Us
Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson doppelgänger Red in “Us,” written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele.

That’s why I had to come up with the label #GlobesSoWhiteMale for this years Golden Globes. It definitely suits this years nomination list of egregious snubs! Let’s start with Lupita Nyong’o, this mornings most talked about snub. Nyong’o missed a Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama nomination for her terrifying dual role in Jordan Peele’s thriller Us. Just this past week, Nyong’o’s globes momentum seemed to be ramping up with a slew of wins from various critics organizations ranging from the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and many more – in fact six in total – more than any other actress this year so far from various critics associations. Yet, she was sidelined in lieu of Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron, Saoirse Ronan and Renee Zellweger. British actress Cynthia Erivo was nomination for her lead role in the biopic Harriet, although Erivo has been in hot water with African Americans as of late due to her controversial comments about black people’s “ghetto accents.”

Many more actresses of color missed out on key nominations as well this year including Alfie Woodward for Clemency, Da’Vine Joy Randolph for Dolemite Is My Name, Constance Wu for her starring role in Hustlers (who was nominated last year for Crazy Rich Asians) and Shuzhen Zhou for her tender supporting performance in The Farewell. Things fared far worse for women and PoC directors and writers. Of the five nominations in each the Best Director – Motion Picture and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture categories, all ten of those slots went to white men. It isn’t as if any women or PoC didn’t write or direct any films this year, they did but were unfortunately overlooked.

Lorene Scarfina (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and Greta Gerwig (Little Women) all pulled double duty writing and directing their films, yet none of these hard working women were recognized for their work. However, their movies got lead and supporting acting nominations for the women they directed and created a world for. How the hell does that happen?!

Other films worth mentioning that were completely shut out were Queen and Slim, as Melina Matsoukas could’ve been considered for Best Director, Lena Waithe for best screenplay, Golden Globe nominee Daniel Kaluyya (Get Out) for Best Actor and Jodie-Turner Smith for Best Actress. Golden Globe nominee Jordan Peele (Get Out) also missed out on possible dual Golden Globe nomination this morning for his Lupita Nyong’o-led screenplay Us, in which he also directed.

I haven’t even begun to vent my frustrations on the television nominations! Out of the forty actors and actresses nominated, only FOUR actors of color were nominated this year, Rami Malik, Billy Porter, Ramy Youssef and Sacha Baron Cohen scored nominations. That’s a disappointing 10% of all nominated television actors are of color – and all men for that matter. the Globes gave up on Tracee Ellis Ross years ago after her win for black-ish. Even last years Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama winner Sandra Oh was snubbed.

niecy2The most glaring television this globes season is Ava DuVernay’s When they See Us, which racked up 16 Emmy nominations just a few months back, but came up empty handed this morning leaving people to wonder how it was left out of the limited series race? It was even more upsetting that steal stealer and Emmy winner Jharrel Jerome was left from the limited series actor race. Niecy Nash was also expected to receive a nomination, but that didn’t happen either. Many expected Regina King to show up for her starring role in HBO’s Watchmen, and Zendaya to receive recognition for her role in HBO’s drama Euphoria – all aforementioned performances mentioned were predicted by yours truly. Such a major disappointment.

Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh)
Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh)

This years nominations pale (no pun intended) in comparison to last years diverse crop of nominees and winners. You had dual nominee Regina King (nominated for limited series Seven Seconds and winning Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in any Motion Picture for If Beale Street Could Talk). Mahershala Ali won lead actor for Green Book. Sandra Oh won for Killing Eve. Spider-manInto the Spiderverse won Best Animated picture. Donald Glover was nominated in Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for Atlanta. Stephan James and Billy Porter (nominated this year)  competed against each other for Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama for Homecoming and Pose, respectively. Penelope Cruz and Thandie Newton were both nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for their roles in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace and Westworld, respectively. Barry Jenkins‘ If  Beale Street Could Talk was nominated for Best Screenplay. Spike Lee was nominated for Best Director for blackKKKlansman, along with its star John David Washington for his supporting role in the film.

Do you hear me?! Have I made my point?!

It’s already tough for people of color to obtain non-stereotypical roles in Hollywood as it is, so when an actor, actress, writer or director who most likely had to work twice as hard to get half as far isn’t recognized for their work, it could be interpreted as it’s a subtle dig that they aren’t wanted, which in turn as an audience makes us feel like we aren’t wanted. What change can be made? Extend the number of nominees from five to ten like the Academy Awards has, especially in this era of endless content? Explore more diverse groups of voters within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who vote on the awards? I don’t have the answer, but I wish I did!

As the Screen Actors Guild are set to announce their nominations this coming Wednesday, let’s hope they offer a much more diverse group of talented and deserving individuals. Until then…


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