Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Golden Globe Awards Face Criticism for Lack of Diversity

Controversy around Netflix’s ‘Emily in Paris’ and Sia’s ‘Music’ makes this year’s award ceremony a little less golden

What better way to spend a Sunday evening than in your favorite grey sweatpants watching a juicy award show unravel? Enter: The 78th Golden Globe Awards. Airing Sunday, Feb. 28, the 2021 telecast will be hosted by award-winning comedy icons Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

The duo received universal praise for their witty on-stage banter and chemistry after hosting the Globes from 2013-2015, according to NBC. Let’s be honest, there is no better time to bring in the ‘big guns’ than after a year of nationwide lockdowns and endless stay-at-home orders due to the global pandemic.

More recently, the Globes are in the spotlight, but not for a “golden hour” photoshoot. Instead, they are under fire for questions raised about their finances after a Los Angeles Times investigation.

It was later discovered that the “Emily in Paris” creators flew the Golden Globes voters to France, and treated them like royalty before the nominations. A new report alleges that as a result, a handful of the nominations the show received may have been swayed, resulting in two surprise nominations, including in the Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy category.

The investigation found that “more than 30 of the organization’s members were treated to a two-night stay at a five-star, $1,400-a-night Paris hotel so they could visit the set of [the Netflix show] ‘Emily in Paris,’” as stated in a New York Times article.

Besides being under scrutiny for ethical lapses and unfair payments to their members, the organization has also recently been criticized for a lack of diversity.

The L.A. Times confirmed the group that votes for the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has 87 members of international journalists of which none are Black.

Similar to the Globes, “Emily in Paris” faces a big representation problem as well. In a Flare article, author Katherine Singh said, “...for a show set in a multicultural and diverse city like Paris, “Emily in Paris” is pretty white.” The term “whitewashing” is being used to define the inauthenticity of the show, especially in the wake of recent social movements. In her article, Singh said, “it’s also a missed opportunity to explore real social issues.”

Another Globes nomination, Sia’s film,“Music,” is facing criticism for its representation of people on the autistic spectrum. It peaked with an online petition that went viral calling for the film to be destroyed and asking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to rescind its nomination.

The founders of the petition, Nina Skov and Rosanna Kataja, demand the film be taken down from all streaming platforms because it contributes to harmful and demeaning stereotypes of autistic people, they said in an interview with Huffpost published Feb. 26.

This is the first year in the history of the Golden Globes that nominations were released virtually due to safety precautions during the pandemic. The controversy over “Emily in Paris” and ‘Music’ continues to dominate the virtual world and online communities leaving many unanswered questions looming overhead.

One thing is for sure though, it will be exciting to see which cast members and creative teams behind quarantine-era favorites — including “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Borat,” “The Prom,” (which have all also faced some diversity criticism) “The Crown,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and “Schitt’s Creek” — take home a Golden Globe Award after a very unpredictable and unexpected year.