Black Actors’ Snobbish Golden Globes Story, Spike Lee Says, ‘Put Sistas and Brothers on That Wall’

Spike Lee talks about the Golden Globes history of black actor snubbing (Photo credit: Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has come under fire after a Los Angeles Times investigation found that the organization does not include a single black journalist among its 87 members. Presenters like Sterling K. Brown and Ava DuVernay, along with nominees like Viola Davis, spoke out in protest with the trending #TIMESUPGlobes hashtag on social media.

The LA Times reported on Saturday that during a Zoom panel discussion with Jane Fonda, recipient of this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, the actress told members of the HFPA, “We need to help you get more members. blacks “, as one member attempted to offer weak defense. In a Hollywood Reporter article, a columnist wrote about an interaction with an HFPA member in which they were trying to be recruited to join. It seems to send the message, “Black journalists apply, white journalists are invited.”

In an interview with Variety last week, former HFPA chair and board chair India-born Meher Tatna said there were no black members in the organization since she joined in 2002.

The Globes have a strong influence on the awards journey as they are the first major TV show of the season. Many Oscar voters looking to fill out their ballots are often enticed to watch a movie based on whether it has been nominated for a Golden Globe.

AMPAS, BAFTA and various other awards groups have focused on diversifying their memberships in light of the recent #OscarsSoWhite controversy. The Globes were mostly able to escape controversy because they managed to nominate at least one or two black actors in their movie actor categories each year (in 2016, the year of #OscarsSoWhite, they named Will Smith for “Commotion” and Idris Elba for “Beasts of No Nation”, both of whom lost). It also helps that they have a lot more actor categories due to their separation of the dramatic and comedic genres across film and television.

But in retrospect, the Globes lagged behind other diversity awards – failing to recognize black actors and actresses. With a group that rewards both film and television, the lack of representation of blacks has lagged behind its award-winning counterparts on almost every front, as shown by individual category comparisons.

The Story of Black Actors Oscar nominated and wins

Lead actor – 23 Oscar nods (4 wins) vs. 30 Globe nods in drama (3 wins), 12 in comedy (2 wins) Lead actress – 12 Oscar nods (1 win) vs. 12 Globe nods in Drama (1 win), 9 in comedy (1 win) Supporting Actor – 19 Oscar nods (6 wins) vs. 18 Globe nods (4 wins) Supporting Actress – 24 Oscar nods (8 wins) vs. 20 Oscar nods (6 wins)

Nominated and Winning Black Emmy Actor Story

Lead actor (comedy) – 28 Emmy nods (2 wins) vs. 28 Globe nods (6 wins) Lead actor (drama) – 16 Emmy nods (7 wins) vs. 9 Globe nods (1 win) ) Lead actor (miniseries or movie) – 36 Emmy nods (4 wins) vs. 19 Globe nods (2 wins) Lead actress (comedy) – 18 Emmy nods (1 win) vs. 15 Emmy nods (1 win) Globe head (2 wins) Main actress (drama) – 17 Emmy nods (2 wins) vs 11 Globe nods (3 wins) Main actress (miniseries or movie) – 29 Emmy nods (7 wins) vs 12 Globe nods (4 wins)

In the Best Dramatic Film category this year, films with black ensembles – such as “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “One Night in Miami” and “Da 5 Bloods” – were all left out. By comparison, the SAG Awards nominated these three films for their first prize for best ensemble cast.

Even if their father is not nominated, the two children of Spike Lee, Satchel and Jackson, are the ambassadors of the Golden Globes Sunday evening after his snub for “Da 5 Bloods”.

“The Hollywood Foreign Press clearly has a lot of work to do,” Lee said in a statement to Variety. “However, it was a joy to see our children Satchel and Jackson serve as Golden Globes ambassadors. I hope the HFPA understands that to stay relevant it needs to diversify its membership. Lee also adds, “Put some sistas and brothers on this wall. You all go out! “

HBO’s critically acclaimed drama “I May Destroy You,” Michaela Coel, was also banned from the Golden Globes altogether. Before Zendaya won an Emmy for Best Actress in a TV Drama Series last summer, she was snubbed for her performance in “Euphoria” last year at the Golden Globes.

In 2001, the Oscars awarded its two best statues for the first time to black actors – Denzel Washington in “Training Day” and Halle Berry in “Monster’s Ball”. At the Globes a few weeks earlier, the winners were Russell Crowe (“A Beautiful Mind”) and Sissy Spacek (“In the Bedroom”).

In 2014, Lee Daniels’ hit box office “The Butler” missed all love of the Globes, including backing actress Oprah Winfrey. The film was then largely shelved on the awards track. But if the Globes had adopted it, it’s possible that a different outcome might have followed for the biopic.

Among the recent Oscar nominated black actors who missed out on a Globe nomination: Djimon Hounsou (“In America” ​​in 2003 and “Blood Diamond” in 2006), Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Sophie Okonedo (“Hôtel Rwanda”) and Quvenzhan? Wallis (“Beasts of the Wild South”).

In December 2019, “Queen & Slim” director Melina Matsoukas told Variety that almost no member had attended screenings organized for international journalists.

The Globes have serious work to do. Awards organizations have tough discussions about inclusion and diversity. HFPA is no different and needs to make the appropriate changes.

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