This year’s Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe announcements sent shockwaves through Black Hollywood. Many movies like Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods”, which received praise largely due to the role of Chadwick Boseman, and Zendaya and John David Washington’s “Malcolm &Marie”, which was shot during quarantine, did not receive a nod from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
The lack of diversity among the HFPA’s 87-member voting group, which includes people of color but no Black voters, could be the explanation many have wanted since this year’s nominations were made public.
The Los Angeles Times did an in-depth investigation into the group whose names are not listed on the website and prefer to keep ‘low profiles’ and the findings clearly state that “there are no Black members.” Meanwhile, these “insular, improbably powerful groups” nominate and select winners for the annual Golden Globes.
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The identities of most of the members are unknown but a “longtime publicist” with an inside scoop told the outlet that some of the members are international journalists who work for little-known news agencies.
There are however some well-known members such as Lisa Lu of the 2018 ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ fame who played the grandmother, Indian journalist Noel de Souza, who also played Mahatma Gandhi in a “Star Trek: Voyager” episode, a former Russian bodybuilder Alexander Nevsky who now acts in “low-budget action films,” and former beauty queen Margaret Gardiner.
The lack of diversity on the 87-member panel sets the tone for how the nominations went this year which should not have been the case as 2020 was dubbed “the year of protests” and there were some notable TV series and films that resounded the message of the Black Lives Matter movement that were expected to be nominated for this year’s Golden Globes.
The four films this season with strong Black casts, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “One Night in Miami” and “Da 5 Bloods” were brushed over as none received nominations for the best picture which is known to be a top award even though some individual actors were nominated.
HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” and “I May Destroy You”, Netflix’s period drama “Bridgerton” and Showtime’s “The Good Lord Bird” all had similar themes that resonated with the year and had rave reviews from critics but performed abysmally at the Globes, according to LA Times.
Since the HFPA came under fire for their non-diverse nomination and voting panel, the association has put out a disclaimer that it does not have any influence on how its members vote.
“We do not control the individual votes of our members,” HFPA said in a statement to the LA Times. “We seek to build cultural understanding through film and TV and recognize how the power of creative storytelling can educate people around the world to issues of race, representation, and orientation.”