awards season

What a Joke


The cat dragged in the 2021 Golden Globes nominations this morning, and it seems like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decided to be extra embarrassing this year. Big black-and-white movie Mank and serious historical drama The Crown led 2020 picks, with six nods each, but the real question is whether or not our distinguished and notoriously out-of-touch voters got around to seeing Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You, which was excluded from all 12 categories this year.

Certainly, they had HBO, but it seems like they were just using it to look at coats in The Undoing rather than to watch Michaela Coel’s groundbreaking exploration of sexual assault, a show that topped almost every TV critic’s list in 2020. They definitely had time to watch 2020’s most ridiculous show, Emily in Paris, which received two major nominations: one for Best Comedy, despite making nobody laugh, and another for Best Actress for Lily Collins’s strong showing as a charmless Instagrammer.

I write this sentence pretty much every year come awards season, but here goes: Nominees for every category are majority white or the work of white creators (including the limited-series category, for which Michaela Coel and I May Destroy You would have been submitted).

My hand will cramp if I write all the snubs out here, but here are some highlights: Neither Issa Rae nor Insecure received any nominations for a stunning season, Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors were snubbed in dramatic acting categories (but the bad Jordan Peele show they starred in, Lovecraft Country, was nominated, so I guess there’s that). Sandra Oh was once again shunted aside for her Killing Eve co-star Jodie Comer, while Malcolm & Marie, in which Zendaya gave the performance of a lifetime, received zero nominations.

A few silver linings: Steve McQueen’s Small Axe got two nominations, including one for John Boyega, as did Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, for Viola Davis and the late, great Chadwick Boseman. Regina King and Chloé Zhao are competing for Best Director, while Maria Bakalova (a.k.a. Borat’s daughter) got a surprise Best Actress nomination, and Anya Taylor-Joy got two well-deserved ones. Last but not least: The resplendent Dev Patel is up for Best Actor for his brilliant performance in The Personal History of David Copperfield, his third nomination and hopefully his first win.

See all the nominations here, but take them with a grain of salt because who on earth are the “critics” at the HFPA anyway?

What a Joke