Did The Golden Globes Shut Out Black Films And Black Talent?

Written by Dana Sanchez

What happened? The groundbreaking “Black Panther” cast and crew left the Golden Globe Awards empty-handed while Mahershala Ali took home Best Supporting Actor for “Green Book” and Regina King won in a supporting role for “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

“Black Panther” and “BlacKkKlansman” were conspicuously absent among winners at the Golden Globes, Dewayne Rogers wrote for Rolling Out:

” … plus the countless deserving artists who couldn’t even garner a nomination — FX’s ‘Atlanta,’ HBO’s ‘Insecure,’ Creed II star Michael B. Jordan and ABC’s ‘Black-ish,’ among them — shows that, while there have certainly been advances in diversity shown in Hollywood, there are still miles to go in this journey to equality,” Rogers wrote.

Was this a slight by the heavily white, heavily European Hollywood Foreign Press Association?


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Despite the historic year for Black actors and for filmmakers behind the scenes, only two Golden Globe awards were handed out to African American talent, Rolling Out reported.

Black Panther,” Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” and Steve McQueen’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” were all nominated for Best Drama. ”Bohemian Rhapsody” won Best Drama and its lead actor, Rami Malek, won Best Actor in a Lead Role.

Although “Black Panther” didn’t win any Golden Globes, cast members introduced the film on stage and made the Wakanda Forever salute.

“Tonight’s first nominated drama has become more than just a movie,” lead actor Chadwick Boseman told the audience. “It’s become a global cultural phenomenon.”

Golden Globes
Ryan Coogler, from left, Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o arrive at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Released in February 2018, “Black Panther” earned $370.8 million on its opening weekend and has since earned $1.3 billion.

The Marvel movie, directed by Ryan Coogler, was nominated in three Golden Globe categories: Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Original Score and Best Original Song. It lost respectively to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “First Man”, and “A Star Is Born.” A “Black Panther” sequel is reportedly in the works, with Coogler writing and directing, Buzz Feed reported.

There are conflicting reports on whether the Golden Globes are a good predictor for the upcoming Academy Awards.

The results of the Golden Globes, though disappointing, “rarely serve as a bellwether for the more popular and prestigious Academy Awards,” Ani Bundel wrote for NBC News.

On the other hand, Entertainment Weekly reported that seven Best Supporting Actress winners at the Golden Globes went on to win the Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards since 2008. “On average, at least four of the five Golden Globe nominees for Best Supporting Actress eventually cross over into the Oscar’s supporting category,” Joey Nolfi reported for EW.

Regina King

In her acceptance speech for “If Beale Street Could Talk”, King, 47, made a passionate call-to-action that received a standing ovation from some audience members including Janelle Monáe.

“Time’s Up times two,” King said. “The reason why we do this is because we understand that our microphones are big and we’re speaking for everyone. I’m going to use my platform right now to say: In the next two years, everything that I produce…. is 50 percent women.”

Mahershala Ali

“Green Book” is a movie about the relationship between Dr. Don Shirley, an African-American jazz pianist and Frank Tony Vallelonga, his Italian-American bodyguard on tour in the 1960s Deep South. So how did Ali, the actor playing the pianist — the man whose need for protection is at the heart of the story — get to be the “supporting” actor?

It’s all about the way the story was told, wrote Gary Anderson for the Detroit Free Press:

The book was based on the bodyguard’s journals, so “the Black character is a part of the narrative — sometimes a crucial element — but not the center of that narrative. In spite of the obvious, ‘Green Book’ isn’t about the pianist,” Anderson wrote.

Anderson said he has a problem with that thinking. So did the Shirley family, who said that none of them was “consulted or even contacted at any point during the writing or production of this film,” AV Club reported.

“The audience sees Black people, Black pain, through the eyes of a white counterpart who is somehow transformed by the experience. It’s as if the pain isn’t real unless a white person is moved by it. That’s entertainment,” Anderson wrote.

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About Dana Sanchez

Dana Sanchez was born in South Africa and is a U.S. citizen. After working in advertising, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida. As a business writer, she won regional and national writing awards. As editor of a daily newspaper, she coordinated staff writers, freelancers and photographers in the fast-paced environment of daily news. Dana was an editor at Moguldom Media Group for four years, helping to build and manage a team of staff and freelance writers. She works now on Moguldom.com for Nubail Ventures. A long-distance hiker and cyclist, she writes about the business of technology.