The 77th annual Golden Globe nominees were announced on Monday morning, launching a series of controversy and conversations around the fact that several stirring performances from Black actors and actresses were left out of consideration this year.
Actors Dakota Fanning, Tim Allen and Susan Kelechi Watson announced the nominations for the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards, which often set the tone for the award season, leading up to the Oscars.
Billy Porter did snag a Best Actor in a television series nod for his role on FX’s Pose, along with Cynthia Erivo, who was double nominated for Best Actress as freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, and for Original Song. Eddie Murphy also was nominated in the comedy category for Best Actor after playing Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name, while Beyoncé snagged a Best Original Song nom for Spirit.
Among the performances that were overlooked include, Jharrel Jerome’s portrayal of Korey Wise in the story of the Exonorated Five, When They See Us, Ava Duvernay’s soul snatching work as director for said film, Lupita Nyong’o’s role as Adelaide Wilson and Red in Us, and Regina King’s stirring performance as the masked Angela Abar on HBO’s Watchmen. Porter’s cast mates in Pose were also not included, specifically lead actress MJ Rodriguez. The show is revered as groundbreaking television, bringing the stories of Black trans women and the ballroom scene into our homes on a weekly basis. Others also mentioned Zendaya’s portrayal as an anxiety riddled, yet sensitive recovering addict on Euphoria, and Alfre Woodard’s portrayal as a contemplative jail warden in Clemency. Not to mention that again this year, no female directors or writers were nominated in the Best Director or Best Screenplay categories.
All of the above-mentioned performances occurred within the allotted timeframe to be considered for a Golden Globe nom, but were not among the contenders in Monday’s announcements.
There is a problem in Hollywood that persists and erupts every year when award season rolls along. From the moment the lack of representation was called out with the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, we’ve seen time and time again that the work of Black actors, actresses and creatives is grossly misunderstood and widely unaccepted as vital contributions in the filmmaking community. Even with the appointment of Cheryl Boone Isaacs as the first black president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, we still see the same actors and actors being upheld as the Hollywood standard during award season.
Though we’ve sometimes gained access to the pot, it seems that we have to continue to restructure our minds to accept that the Hollywood standard cannot stand in for us. Looking to these outlets for acceptance is the quickest way to kill Black art. So we should continue to make beautiful films about horror, love, pain, joy and struggle, and create our own forums of acknowledgement without the white gaze.