The Golden Globes’ biggest snubs involved Black-led films and TV shows


This year, more than most, the Golden Globes nominations were hard to predict. Professional critics and awards prognosticators were throwing up their hands and shrugging their shoulders. It didn’t help that the rules this year are very unclear as far as eligibility and release dates and all of that. Several films got nominated without ever appearing on a streaming service OR a movie theater. That being said, there were some TV shows and films which were on most critics’ short-lists for Globe nominations and then… the HFPA just ignored them. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has long had issues with recognizing racially diverse films and TV shows and not even a global pandemic and a global racial justice movement would change that. As it turns out, the most notable snubs were all films and shows starring Black people. Shocking.

The Golden Globe nominations 2021 have arrived, triggering a slew of shocking snubs and surprises. One of the most egregious snubs? A complete shutout in the best-drama category for Black-led films, including predicted nominees like Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, Regina King’s One Night in Miami…, George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah. All four films, particularly Lee and Wolfe’s star-studded dramas, have been awards-season front-runners for weeks, making their snubs all the more confusing.

Their snubs made way for surprises in this category, including nods for films like the family drama The Father and the rape-revenge thriller Promising Young Woman. Over in the musical-comedy category, Ryan Murphy’s The Prom earned a nomination, as predicted in spite of its middling reviews. But The Prom star James Corden also earned a best-actor nod, while his costar Meryl Streep (you’ve heard of her?) was snubbed.

Streep, who’s won several Globes over the course of her career and was predicted to be nominated for two more on Wednesday, was also snubbed for her bookish performance as a reluctant literary icon in Steven Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk. The improvised drama was more of a long shot than Murphy’s attention-grabbing Netflix production, but…Streep is Streep! Usually that’s enough for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. She’s in good company, however, with Tom Hanks, who failed to land a nod for News of the World, and Da 5 Bloods star Delroy Lindo, whose searing portrayal of a Vietnam War veteran made him an early Oscar front-runner, with or without a Globes nod.

Over on the TV front, the Globes failed to issue a single nod for Michaela Coel’s brilliant I May Destroy You, widely regarded by critics as one of the best shows of 2020. Coel, a creative tour de force, wrote, codirected, and starred in the series, based on her own real-life experience with sexual assault. Though the show will likely (read: had better) clean up at the 2021 Emmys, the HFPA’s refusal to recognize her acclaimed series is a shocking oversight.

The Globes also glossed over crowd-pleasers like Starz’s ratings smash P-Valley and HBO’s Insecure, created by, written by, and starring Issa Rae. Just like the best-drama-film category, the HFPA was curiously lacking when it came to nominating Black-led projects.

[From Vanity Fair]

No Issa Rae, no Michaela Coel, no Delroy Lindo, no Spike Lee, no Tom Hanks and no Meryl Streep. What was the HFPA smoking? The only thing I’ll say in very minor defense of the Globes is that they *did* nominate Regina King for Best Director for One Night In Miami. She was one of three women nominated in the directing category. The HFPA has a history of ignoring female directors, so that felt pointed. But the exclusions of Black-led films and TV shows also feels pointed. It’s also worth noting that one of Netflix’s most popular and well-reviewed shows in 2020 was Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever, centered around a first-generation Indian-American girl. Never Have I Ever received zero nominations at the Emmys and now the Globes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Golden Globes are known for making completely bonkers mistakes in who they nominate and snub, and they often become the cautionary tale which stabilizes the Oscar race and offers SAG and Oscar voters a chance to “correct” the race. My point is that by snubbing Delroy Lindo and Spike Lee and One Night in Miami, the HFPA inadvertently gives those films more attention. People will want to make sure that Spike, Regina and Delroy are nominated for Oscars.

54th Academy of Country Music Awards

54th Academy of Country Music Awards

Photos courtesy of Netflix, IMDB, HBO.

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35 Responses to “The Golden Globes’ biggest snubs involved Black-led films and TV shows”

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  1. Tanesha86 says:

    I’m most upset about Lovecraft Country and I May Destroy You being left out 😔

    • Celebitchy says:

      Lovecraft got nominated in the drama category but it got ZERO acting noms. I feel that Michael K. Williams was especially snubbed.

      • Anna says:

        Totally agree esp re: Michael K. Williams. And nothing for I May Destroy You? This was one of the most brilliant works of art ever created. I’m still wrapping my mind around it and the feelings it brought up and validated.

    • sunny says:

      Wild that they ignored the brilliant, boundary pushing, honest, I May Destroy You. How???? Plus Minari as a foreign film is not a good look.

    • February-Pisces says:

      I wondering why “I may destroy you’ was snubbed. I think because the show was about sexual assault and rape, considering half of Hollywood seems to be sex offenders they probably didn’t want to give it any more impact. It brought up a lot of issues around consent such as when a man removed his condom without telling you. There are a lot of grey areas round sexual consent that the show highlighted. Definitely not one that the shady side of Hollywood want out there.

      I remember the golden globes yer when they were all about ‘me too’, then they rolled Kirk Douglas out on stage, like wtf.

    • IMARA219 says:

      I mean how do they not nominate Letti mutha-effing Lewis. Journee deserves all of her flowers for that role. I may not have liked IMDY but I recognize the artsy and groundbreaking nature of her series. I May Deserve You had so many think pieces and was pop-culturally everywhere this summer.

    • Courtney B says:

      That cast was amazing. And even the supporting actors got a showcase episode where they hit it out of the park. Wunmi Mosaku (Strange Case but she was amazing throughout and the finale screwed her over), Michael K Williams (the heartbreaking Tulsa episode especially, I could still cry), Aunjanue Ellis (I am Hippolyta) and, surprisingly Jamie Chung (Meet Me in Daegu). .

  2. Becks1 says:

    I think these were super obvious snubs. Like sometimes a person claims someone was snubbed but not everytime X actor isnt nominated means its a snub, if that makes sense, lol. But this is just glaringly obvious. Considering how many nominations Emily in Paris got….(I know they may have been up in different categories, but still.) I havent seen One Night in Miami but I cant believe they would nominate Regina King for best director but snub it for best picture. I also havent seen I May Destroy You yet but based on the reviews and overall talk about it, I cant believe it didnt get a SINGLE nomination.

    I’m still trying to figure out if Bridgerton was eligible or not. Some sites say it was, and NPR listed it as one of the big snubs, but I’m not positive. If it was, I think it definitely should have been nominated over Emily in Paris and I am shocked that it did not get acting nominations for Reje-Jean Page or Adjoa Andoh.

    • Sigmund says:

      I’m confused by Bridgerton too. Earlier Kaiser said it wasn’t eligible, but when I looked it up, it was released on the 25th, and the cutoff for tv was supposed to be the 31st. (?)

    • February-Pisces says:

      I can’t believe ‘Emily in Paris’ got nominated. I watched it and it was cute, but no way award worthy, I don’t even think it’s a fan fav, it was completely forgettable. I hope Bridgerton wasn’t eligible coz if they got snubbed I’ll be really mad. Also James cordon got nominated. I’ve actually not seen his performance so I guess I can’t judge until I do, but I’m still like WTF.

      • Ann says:

        Ugh, that is ridiculous. I couldn’t even get through one episode of that show. It is definitely not award-worthy, and Lily Collins being nominated is all kinds of wrong.

  3. Rapunzel says:

    Delroy Lindo was brilliant in Da 5 bloods. It was a great film too. Quite shocked at the lack of noms.

    Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom did well though. Yay for that.

    And I just saw Promising Young Woman last night. Amazing film and Carey Mulligan deserves the love.

  4. Mina_Esq says:

    If you’re snubbing shows like Insecure, you’re acknowledging that quality is not the determinative factor.

    • IMARA219 says:

      Insecure had a really good season. I would say this was the best season yet and I just don’t get it.

    • minime says:

      Insecure is a really incredibly good series! Issa Rae is great as most of the cast and it’s really disappointing that it gets snubbed like this. I’m sick of this kind of awards.

    • lucy2 says:

      It looks like they nominated her twice in the past too, which makes it surprising she was snubbed this year, because I think her character has gotten even more interesting and complex.

  5. Miss Margo says:

    A bunch of racists. I may destroy you and Insecure are incredible. Smdh

  6. Oh_Hey says:

    I firmly believe that these award shows know they are loosing relevance and this annual controversy brings it back. Like these guys know Emily in Paris was overhyped trash but it gets us all talking and tweeting and then trending.

    A lot of big actors and artists just boycott these awards both silently like Beyoncé and Jay do for the Grammys or the say out loud that they’ll never go even if they win in order to not used to prop up dying institutions.

    Taking about it beyond saying they’re trash and we’re not watching is exactly what they want.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    Do we really need the Golden Globes? I think the other awards are more important.

    • hindulovegod says:

      Thank you. It’s time to ignore this racist institution. If you’re white and covering this or attending, you’re upholding racism. No more platitudes or excuses. You’re either fine with racism or you’re not.

    • Case says:

      Agreed. The GGs are one of the only shows in award season that have absolutely no relevance to the Oscars. Critic’s Choice, SAG, etc. are good indicators of who could win at the Oscars. Golden Globes are just a bit random. I’m glad Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will host, though.

  8. Lawcatb says:

    Shocking! — says no one.

  9. StormsMama says:

    I loved Promising young woman and am happy that it got recognized
    And that Carey and the director both got some love.

    Other than that, I am woefully behind on shows and movies.

    I did just see Motherless Brooklyn and thought that Gugu and Ed were wonderful.

  10. Justjj says:

    I feel like the whole cast of Lovecraft Country should have been nominated for every category. That show was so thought provoking, entertaining, and original-not to mention, visually stunning. The material was so intense and could have easily come off super cheesy if it weren’t for the actors and their emotional depth. They made the show.

    • IMARA219 says:

      It deserved it for screen adaptation, producing, and directing. That show was just another level of #BlackExcellence.

    • Courtney B says:

      I mentioned Wunmi Mosaku (Ruby) in an earlier post. She’s amazing and gorgeous—and not a ‘typical’ Hollywood beauty standard. Her skin is to die for. I’d never seen her before but it looks like she’ll be in all the episodes of Loki (joining Jonathan Majors in the MCU) so LC may have propelled her into more high profile roles. Which is better than an increasingly worthless GG nod. (Loki will also have the lovely Gugu Mbatha-Raw who deserved more attention for Belle).

  11. Jess says:

    Da 5 Bloods, One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman, and Ma Rainey’s were the best films of the year. And Delroy Lindo had better get the Oscar for Best Actor in Da 5 Bloods. While the actors in all these movies were great, what he did with his character was next level incredible.

  12. Realistic says:

    Spike Lee continues to support Nate Parker, I have no time for Spike Lee and his selective activism.

  13. Dizzy says:

    I may destroy you is really great. Deserves awards for sure. I’ve been watching Insecure faithfully since it started. I thought the last season was weaker but still love it. I’m past middle age and white but these shows are very fresh and enjoyable to me. I hope shows like this will continue to be made.

  14. Lolafalana says:

    I may destroy you and insecure are two of the best television shows that have ever existed. This makes no sense. Also Michaela Cole – I am totally obsessed with. She is amazeballs.

  15. Case says:

    I feel like the GGs are historically problematic in their nominations and this isn’t surprising in the slightest.

  16. storminateacup says:

    I am really happy ‘Small Axe’ (about racism in Afo/West Indian Britain) by Steve McQueen (British West Indian) got nominated along with John Boyega, so there’s that.

  17. NYStateofMind says:

    Insecure is fucking brilliant. HFPA is a bunch of morons.

  18. godivalady says:

    The HFPA has only 90 voting members. 90. I think they get paid off to vote in certain directions. All these major organizations are still largely made up of old white men, so it’s no surprise they’re racist.