The Golden Globe nominees have been announced for 2021, and while this year’s roster included a slew of surprises (Emily in Paris, anyone?), there were also some glaring omissions. Here, we take a look at the performers and projects that were shut out.
I May Destroy You
Michaela Coel took the world by storm with the release of I May Destroy You, from HBO and BBC, which delivered a bold, nuanced look at the aftermath of sexual assault and trauma. Based on Coel’s own experiences, the series challenged how society treats victims of sexual violence and offered an empathetic portrayal of healing. The show garnered widespread praise from critics, launched Coel into stardom, and sparked a larger cultural discussion about surviving sexual violence and how to depict it. Supporting actors Weruche Opia and Paapa Essiedu also earned deserved praise. However, Coel, the co-stars, and the series as a whole were completely shut out of Globe nominations this year. The news arrives weeks after I May Destroy You picked up two Critics Choice Award nominations.
Fans expressed their disbelief on Twitter.
No it’s actually CRIMINAL to not recognize Michaela Coel for what she did, not just w trauma or sexual assault or consent, but w friendship and art and power and healing! I May Destroy You was an artist executing a singular vision, pure and focused #GoldenGlobes
— amil (@amil) February 3, 2021
So what... ‘I May Destroy You’ never happened orrrr?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/irsfyiu8hh
— Jonathan Taiwo Ajayi (@MrJonathanA) February 3, 2021
Snubbing Micaela Cole/'I May Destroy You' and nominating Lily Collins/'Emily in Paris' is yet another example of how there are two sets of rules for Black and white people in this country. The mediocrity, my god.
— Tijuana Maxx (@byalexzaragoza) February 3, 2021
i may destroy the golden globes
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) February 3, 2021
no nods for I MAY DESTROY YOU? well i may destroy the hollywood foreign press association how bout that
— so....what now? (@Muna_Mire) February 3, 2021
Steven Yeun and Minari
Steven Yeun gives a tender, heartbreaking performance in Minari as Jacob, a persevering father chasing the American Dream after he and his Korean-American family relocate to Arkansas to start a new life. Yet, Yeun received no actor nod.
Based on Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung's own upbringing, the film received only one nomination. Though it would easily hold its own in the overall motion picture categories (it won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance last year), Minari, which was filmed in Oklahoma and is set in Arkansas, was slotted in the foreign-language category, as a majority of its dialogue is in Korean.
Also overlooked were Yeri Han, who plays Jacob’s pragmatic wife, Monica, and Youn Yuh-jung, who steals the show as Monica’s spunky mother, Soonja. Both actresses, as well as Yeun, were nominated for Independent Spirit Awards last week. Minari is nominated in six categories for that award ceremony.
Judas and the Black Messiah
Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah—which premiered this week at the Sundance Film Festival and arrives to HBO Max next Friday—received nods for only best actor, Daniel Kaluuya, and original song. Kaluuya’s thundering portrayal of Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton undoubtedly deserves the nomination, but other cast members were left in the dark, like LaKeith Stanfield, who captures the internal conflict of FBI informant Bill O’Neal, and Dominique Fishback, who shines as activist and Hampton’s partner, Deborah Johnson.
Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett
Lovecraft Country landed a coveted spot in the best drama series race, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association failed to acknowledge the actors who carried the show. Both Majors and Smollett give riveting performances in Misha Green’s horror-infused drama exploring race, family, and legacy, set against the backdrop of 1950s America. Pushing the boundaries of the horror genre, they deliver layered portrayals of Atticus and Leti, respectively, balancing fear with devastation, rage, and passion.
Da 5 Bloods
Spike Lee has never won a Golden Globe, though he has been nominated in past years for BlacKkKlansman and Do the Right Thing. This year, the HFPA further denied him the chance to compete, shutting out his 2020 film, Da 5 Bloods. (To make things even more awkward, his children were selected as ambassadors to hand out trophies during the ceremony.) And while Lee’s snub is notable, even more surprising is the shutting out of Delroy Lindo, whose portrayal of Vietnam War vet Paul was heralded as the highlight of the film.
Denied a nomination for her leading role performance in Malcolm & Marie, this marks yet another moment Zendaya was snubbed by the HFPA (at last year’s awards ceremony she wasn’t nominated for her role in Euphoria.) The black-and-white film, directed by Euphoria’s Sam Levinson during quarantine and set for release this Friday, didn’t receive any nods.
Though the HFPA loves veteran actresses like Kate Winslet — she’s won four Golden Globes and has been nominated 11 times — she was snubbed for her performance as an 1840s palaeontologist in Francis Lee’s lesbian romance Ammonite. She starred opposite Saoirse Ronan, another past nominee and winner who was overlooked this year.
Issa Rae has received Golden Globe nominations in the past, securing best comedy actress nods in 2017 and 2018. But even after securing eight Emmy nominations this past season, her beloved comedy series was overlooked—in acting categories (she and co-star Yvonne Orji were snubbed) and in the best comedy series category.
While other popular Netflix series like The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit, and Emily in Paris received nods, Bridgerton, the streamer’s most-watched original series to date, was completely shut out. It’s not like the HFPA is unfamiliar with the show’s producer, Shonda Rhimes. Her magnum opus, Grey’s Anatomy, won best drama series 14 years ago. And her other celebrated shows, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, have received acting nominations—for Kerry Washington and Viola Davis, respectively—in recent years. Even with its Christmas Day release, Rhimes’ Regency-era drama was indeed eligible for Golden Globes in 2021.
Actors of Colour
As most entries on this list show, the acting categories are seriously lacking in diversity, with many performers of colour, especially Black performers, being left out of the running. Mrs. America star Uzo Aduba, who won an Emmy for her role as Shirley Chisholm, was shut out of the Golden Globes race. Latinx actor Pedro Pascal, who stars in the titular role of The Mandalorian, which is in the running for best drama series, wasn’t nominated. The only star from Regina King’s One Night in Miami nominated was Leslie Odom Jr., although Kingsley Ben-Adir, Aldis Hodge, and Eli Goree also gave deserving performances. And while Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer is in the best actress category, her co-star Sandra Oh, who plays the titular character, is not.
The categories best actor in a drama series; best actor in a limited series, anthology series, or motion picture made for TV; best-supporting actress in a TV role; best-supporting actress in a film role; actress in a TV series; and best actress in a musical or comedy series consist of all-white nominees. Among the 40 acting nominees for TV, there are only two Black actors, Don Cheadle and John Boyega, as Entertainment Weekly pointed out. Other nominees of colour include Ramy Youssef, who is Egyptian, and Anya Taylor-Joy, who is of Argentine descent and identifies as Latina. Andra Day and Viola Davis are the only Black women nominated among TV and film categories this year combined.
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