Another awards season yields another reminder that Hollywood is an inherently racist institution. The Golden Globe nominations prove this yet again.
The nominations for the 78th Golden Globe Awards were announced earlier this week and per usual, many films, television shows and performances from Black creatives were snubbed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Chief among the snubs was Michaela Coel's universally-acclaimed HBO drama, I May Destroy You, in the limited series categories. Arguably one of the most acclaimed pieces of television in 2020, I May Destroy You (which tackles themes of consent and sexual assault) being overlooked by the HFPA outraged many. One of the people outraged was Emily in Paris writer Deborah Copaken. Emily in Paris, the polarizing Netflix comedy that was coldly received by critics, got multiple nominations in the comedy categories.
In an op-ed for The Guardian, Copaken called out members of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association for overlooking I May Destroy You was overlooked in a category and expressed shock that Emily In Paris was nominated.
“I May Destroy You was not only my favorite show of 2020. It’s my favorite show ever," Copaken said. "It takes the complicated issue of a rape — I’m a sexual assault survivor myself — and infuses it with heart, humor, pathos and a story constructed so well, I had to watch it twice, just to understand how Coel did it.”
Copaken also pointed out the fact that Emily In Paris - a show "about a white American selling luxury whiteness, in a pre-pandemic Paris scrubbed free of its vibrant African and Muslim communities" - was nominated, while I May Destroy You was overlooked.
“Am I excited that Emily in Paris was nominated? Yes. Of course,” Copaken continued. “I’ve never been remotely close to seeing a Golden Globe statue up close, let alone being nominated for one. But that excitement is now unfortunately tempered by my rage over Coel’s snub. That I May Destroy You did not get one Golden Globe nod is not only wrong, it’s what is wrong with everything.”
Copaken was not alone in her sentiments. Alma Har'el, who came to prominence for her 2019 feature film debut Honey Boy, called out the Golden Globes for Coel's snub, citing racism as the only explanation.
Sometimes racism is the only explanation.
— Alma Har'el???? עלמה (@Almaharel) February 3, 2021