Shaun King: The Golden Globes Seemingly Shut Out Black Women

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As you know, the Golden Globe nominations were announced yesterday and they were extremely disappointing. At virtually every turn, Black excellence was shut out from almost every single category and despite this year having more films and TV shows directed by women than any year in film and television history, women were completely shut out of every single director category.

And listen, I’m not saying Black folk or women need to be graded on a curve – that’s nonsense. Some of the best films and TV shows of the year starred Black folk and were directed by women. 

Here in a second I want to explain why it matters, because when we often get snubbed from these award shows, I often hear us say, why do we care about other people’s validation, and that we should only care about our own award shows and more, and I’ll address that in just a second, but first, I want to give my top 5 snubs. 

#5. Zendaya in the HBO Smash Hit Euphoria. The show is literally one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows of the year and Zendaya is a runaway star in this show that is a brutally honest portrayal of modern teenage life. 

#4. Lupita Nyong’o in the movie Us. She was AMAZING in Us – simultaneously terrifying, gross, and also kind and sweet – as she played two radically different versions of one deeply tormented character. After watching Us, one of my biggest takeaways was just how brilliant she was. 

#3. Regina King in HBO’s amazing new show, Watchmen. First off, I’m hooked on Watchmen. I literally think it is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. It’s an amazing show that confronts white supremacy head on. I thought it deserved 10 different nominations and it didn’t get a single one. Again, it’s a breakout hit with a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes – and Regina King is absolutely spectacular in every single episode. When I first saw that it didn’t get any nominations, my thought was that it must not have been available for awards this year since it just came out, but it just got snubbed altogether. 

#2. The entire cast of “When They See Us.” That not one single cast member was nominated, we’re not even talking about winning the award yet, but that not one single cast member was nominated is absolutely absurd. That Jharrel Jerome, who won the Emmy for his role in the series, didn’t get nominated is just outrageous. 

#1. Ava Duvernay. She absolutely should’ve been nominated for directing When They See Us. It will go down in history as one of the most important television series of all time. It was that important. And it was that good, and that powerful, because it was directed under her watchful eye. But Ava not receiving a Best Director nomination was really indicative of how women were literally shut out from every single Best Director nomination slot from film, to TV, to mini-series – you name it. It’s absurd. 

And here’s the thing – when this happens, and it happens almost every single year, we always say something like “Why do we even care if they honor us?” or “We should just care about our own award shows instead of seeking white validation.”

And here’s the thing – I fundamentally agree with that logic, and those conclusions, but here’s why I have a problem with us getting snubbed by these award shows year after year. 

These nominations, and these awards, be it The Golden Globes, the Oscars, or the Emmy’s are like passports in the industry. Getting these nominations allow actors, actresses, directors, and producers to negotiate bigger and better salaries, bigger and better budgets. Getting these honors allow them to get better roles and better scripts. 

In the industry they live and work in daily, having these nominations and awards follow you for your entire life – so as much as we want to say, “It doesn’t matter, we’ll do our own awards,” in the industry, these honors make a difference. And as long as the Golden Globes are going to claim to be an award show for everybody, they need to make sure they honor a true representation of all of the people – from every race, background, gender, and orientation.

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