Award shows aren’t quite the same if there isn’t a sprinkle of controversy thrown in. With the announcement of 2021’s Golden Globes nominees, there has been a surge of criticism regarding the nominee choices, as well as shows that were widely believed to have been snubbed by the award show. The controversy around the award show began in December, when the film Minari was going to be excluded from receiving a nomination for Best Drama, due to the fact that it featured too much Korean dialogue.
As a result, the film is instead nominated for the Best Picture: Foreign Language award. Minari is a film about a Korean-American family living in Arkansas in the ‘80s. Due to the fact that the film literally takes place in the U.S., features an American family, and was filmed in the U.S. by two American companies, it’s a pretty spectacular way to push it out of its own genre. According to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, for a film to be considered ‘foreign language,’ it must contain around 70 percent non-English dialogue. According to an article by Vulture, Quentin Tarintino’s Inglourious Basterds, which contained three languages besides English, shouldn’t have been nominated for the Best Drama category in 2010 under this rule. The decision to not give Minari a Best Drama Film nomination has been widely criticized.
Now, with the rest of the nominations announced Feb. 3, there has been a large discussion questioning those choices, most notably for the Netflix series Emily in Paris. It has been nominated twice: for Best Comedy Series or Musical, and star Lily Collins for Best Actress. Many people are confused by this nomination, as the show sits at a 63 percent on Rotten Tomatoes from critics. Leading Man Lucas Bravo, who portrays Gabriel in the show, has stated that he understands why critics ‘have panned the show.’ “We’re portraying clichès and we’re portraying one version of Paris. Paris is one of the most diverse cities in the world,” said Bravo. The show has been criticized for portraying outdated French stereotypes, especially by French critics. It’s these combining factors that have led to people questioning the choice of nominating Emily in Paris for a Golden Globe; even fans of the show admit that it isn’t Golden Globe material.
Another nomination that has raised some brows is James Corden for his role as Barry Glickman in the Netflix movie The Prom, based off of a musical of the same name. Corden received backlash for his portrayal of Glickman, with people referring to it as an offensive stereotype of gay men. In a review written for Vanity Fair, critic Richard Lawson wrote how Corden was laughably bad in the film. “Forget the whole case-by-case thing: No more straight actors playing gay men until the sins of The Prom are properly atoned for,” Lawson wrote. With Corden’s surprise nomination, fans have been quick to point out his offensive portrayal, as well as expressing shock that Golden Globes favorite Meryl Streep wasn’t nominated at all.
In addition to this, there have been a number of shows and films that many have felt were snubbed by the Golden Globes award. TV shows such as HBO’s I May Destroy You, Netflix’s Never Have I Ever, and NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist have been brought up as shows that should have been nominated — especially I May Destroy You, which covers themes of trauma by sexual assault. Though the show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist itself did not receive a nomination, the leading actress, Jane Levy, was nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Entertainment Weekly released an Expected Nominations prediction list on Feb. 2, and was surprised that Spike Lee’s film Da 5 Bloods received zero nominations despite the amount of praise it received, as well as being listed by the National Board Review as the best film of 2020. Other snubs that Entertainment Weekly noticed was Youn Yuh-jung from Minari for Best Supporting Actress, Paul Raci for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sound of Metal, and the film On The Rocks for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical).
Even with all the controversy that is surrounding this year’s Golden Globes, there have been some highlights as well. The Best Director’s category makes history with a record of three women directors to be nominated for the category. The women nominated for their roles include Regina King (One Night in Miami), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), and Chloe Zhao (Nomadland). Fennell and King’s films were also their debut films as directors. Chadwick Boseman, who died Aug. 28, received a posthumous nomination for Best Actor in a Drama for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, his final film before he passed.
Though these are some good things to come out of the Golden Globes, it’s very difficult to deny that there have been issues with the nominations, whether it be ignoring Black-led TV shows, snubbing critically-acclaimed films, or straight up nominating Hamilton six years after its release, as opposed to giving the nomination to something more recent. Whatever the case, the Golden Globes might be considered a prestigious award — but it certainly doesn’t seem to be a good indicator of quality as of late.
Featured Photo Courtesy of Aubry Acosta / Quaker Campus