The golden (white) globes


Morgan Hooker

The Golden Globes have consistently struggled with a lack of diversity in their awards.


When the Golden Globe nominations were released without a single mention of “I May Destroy You,” it was just one example of Hollywood failing to recognize the talents of Black creators and actors. Awards shows provide one of the only chances to celebrate the best media and performances from the past year, but they consistently award white actors and media by white creators over equally deserving Black actors and creators. The lack of diversity in these shows, particularly the Golden Globes, shows that Hollywood needs to work harder to recognize the talent of all of its stars, not just white celebrities. 


The awards show season kicks off in February with the Golden Globes, and the continues with the Grammys, Oscars, and Emmys over the next few months. The Golden Globes usually serves as an indicator of what movies are likely to be nominated for Academy Awards. However, when this year’s Golden Globes nomination list came out, many people were shocked and outraged. “I May Destroy You,” an HBO drama series almost universally praised by critics, received no nominations. The show centers around a young woman attempting to navigate life after being raped. Michaela Coel wrote, co-directed and produced the series, basing the plot on her own experience with sexual assault. When the show received no nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization that chooses the nominees and winners for the Globes, many people argued that it was because Coel is a Black woman. A writer on the series “Emily in Paris,” a ditzy comedy-drama series nominated for Best Musical/Comedy TV Series and Best TV Actress in a Musical/Comedy, even published an editorial criticizing the HFPA for snubbing “I May Destroy You.”

The Golden Globes have consistently shown a lack of diversity in their awards. (Morgan Hooker)

Although the HFPA may not have neglected the show entirely because of race, this is not the first time the association has received criticism for its lack of diversity. The board, which includes 90 members who choose the nominees and winners, does not include any Black members. In past years, the award winners have been mostly white. Last year, the hilarious Awkwafina, an actress and comedian who rose to prominence through her rap videos on YouTube, was the only person of color to take home an award in a major category. The major categories include the awards for actors, actresses, directors and screenplay, rather than the more background awards like score and costume design. In the past 10 years, 33 out of 40 winners in these categories were white. This year alone, zero out of 20 slots for best female performer went to Black women. Only four of 20 slots went to Black men in the male category. All 10 movies nominated for best picture focus on a white main character. While all the winners of the Golden Globes gave amazing performances, there were certainly other works created by and starring people of color that deserved recognition.

The Golden Globes isn’t the only awards ceremony to receive criticism for a lack of representation. In the past decade, both the Oscars and Grammys have also faced backlash after people noticed a lack of diversity in nominees and winners. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite gained attention after all 20 acting nominations went to white actors in both 2015 and 2016. The following year, #GrammySoWhite went viral after Beyonce lost a best album award to Adele, the second time in three years Beyonce lost to a white artist. 

When the awards exclusively go to movies or TV shows created by or centering on white people, it creates a partial representation of the amazing work that is out there, as well as deprives creators of the recognition they deserve”

Some people argue that awards shows don’t mean much and are just extravagant excessive excuses for Hollywood elite to dress up and gather. While this may be true, the shows are still intended to be a reflection of the best creations of the year. However, some of the organizations that host these shows have taken steps in the right direction. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hosts the Oscars, has made effort to adapt in the face of criticism. To increase the diversity of its membership, 819 new members were invited into the Academy. In the years since, three of the past four winners of the Best Picture award have gone to movies focusing on people of color, and many actors in films like “Get Out,” “Black Panther,” “Coco’’ and “Crazy Rich Asians” have been recognized for their performances. Still, The Golden Globes has a lot of work to do – the HFPA should make their board more transparent and include a more diverse membership in order to recognize shows that accurately represent the diversity of talent and incredible works that are out there.