The 2021 Golden Globes nominations are a fiasco

The Golden Globe nominations got announced this week, and while everyone has an opinion… people have been asking me for my thoughts.

So I’ll start with this:

I love the Globes for the party and Tina Fey & Amy Poehler/Ricky Gervais superior hosting skills. I also like that it puts the TV people and the movie people in the same room. I like that the Globes have a musical/comedy section because I feel like these films are often not considered or appreciated by the Oscars, and I like that the Globes feel less ‘snobby’.

HOWEVER. This year’s Globes are a fiasco.

We should have known something was up when Hamilton was getting considered to win awards at the Globes. It’s not a movie or a TV show or a limited series. It’s a recording of a stage musical. It should be in its own category but I digress.

When the official nominations were announced, I’ll be honest – my first reaction was thrilled. I had my eye on one category and I didn’t care about anything else: director.

I was so excited to see THREE women in the category – the first time where the majority of the nominations were women! After seeing so many men for so many years, this felt refreshing, exciting, and just so well deserved. I’m solidly on #teamEmerald (I loved Promising Young Woman) so I was happy.

But then I paused and looked at the rest of the nominations and my smile slipped. The rest of the nominations were… a mess.

Most obviously, there were multiple all-white categories. In 2021 this is ridiculous. In the same way, I want more women, I want more BIPOC representation. You cannot tell me there were no BIPOC worthy people – because I could give you a long list of people who created meaningful and outstanding work. Michaela Coel is at the top of that list.

She is an industry leader who deserves recognition and respect for her work.

In all honestly, I really feel bad for everyone involved except the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The HFPA has made a true mess of this and has screwed multiple groups.

If you have a project worthy of awards and you get snubbed – that hurts and cuts deeply. It’s a lie to say it doesn’t matter. But…it also must be truly awful to be on the Emily in Paris team right now because everyone is hating them right now. They know they don’t “deserve” it – but they also put a lot of work into that show. Deborah Copaken, a writer on Emily in Paris, wrote a wonderful piece for The Guardian about her thoughts on the show’s nominations and I have a lot of respect for her.

Not that James Corden needs any sympathy, but to have the world spend so much time talking about how you don’t deserve it… that must hurt. If I was him (or any of the nominees who are getting pushback this week)… I’d be really peeved at the people who submitted the nomination and launched a “for your consideration” campaign – they put them in a really awkward position.

On the flip side – also feel bad for the rest of the nominees who do deserve it because this debacle cheapens their nominations. For example – Jane Levy is fantastic in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and it must feel incredibly awkward to be up next to Lily Collins. I also think the women nominated for Best Television Actress – Drama Series are all excellent – but they must feel terrible that Michaela Coel is not up there with them.

The HFPA has really created a lose-lose-lose and I don’t know if Tina and Amy can save this…

So here’s my prediction – it took Hollywood a couple years to reconcile with #MeToo and only now in 2021 are we seeing female directors get nominated, and dominate the nominations.

I realistically think we’re going to see a significant shift and see consistent equitable BIPOC representation in institutions by 2023. It’s not so much about the crews/casts, it’s much more about getting the right people into the network boardrooms that submit and campaign for awards – but it might take a few years to see those changes happen.

We have great talent and excellent stories (again back to Michaela Coel) – but we now really need a shift in how those stories get recognized. We know HBO has the ability to campaign for their shows – they need to start campaigning for their BIPOC talent.

But there is hope and all of this leads to the exciting news out of Canada.

I am really excited about the work The Black Academy is doing. This is a Canadian organization lead by Shamier Anderson and Stephan James with the intent to honour, celebrate, and showcase established and emerging Black talent with a broadcasted awards show.

The traditional antiquated award shows are not doing it – so I’m really excited that we’re getting new (and hopefully much better) institutions. In my opinion, this is going to be a game-changer. They are committed to hiring a Black crew, the folks in leadership positions will be Black, and they are creating an infrastructure that will continue to push Black Canadian storytellers forward. So it’s a win-win-win.

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