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The Problem with Award Show Diversity…Yet Again

This past Thursday on February 4th, the Golden Globes announced their nominees for over 20 different categories in the film and television industry. Although this year was a “landmark” year for diversity across categories and nominations, the Globes still failed to realize the amazing work created and portrayed through actors, screenwriters, and producers of color. 

For one Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You, a brilliant reflection on her own sexual assault told through vivid and colorful storytelling, was snubbed from a number of categories. Meanwhile, Netflix’s Emily in Paris received nods for Best Actress and Best Television Series, while featuring very little of the cultural diversity that makes up Paris. A writer on that very show even admitted that this was an unfortunate oversight, saying “[Coel] infuses it with heart, humor, pathos and a story constructed so well…”  There were absolutely no Black women nominated as performers and the year of 2020 delivered so many quality performances that everyone had time to fully devour due to quarantine. 

It’s not just the Globes either. In late November, the Grammy’s failed to nominate The Weeknd for any categories.  He undoubtedly had one of the best and most successful albums in 2020, a year when many had little chance to perform material. His song “Blinding Lights” broke the Billboard Hot 100 record and spent the most weeks ever for a song in the top five. There has long been issues with diversity within the Grammys, with only ten Black artists ever winning Album of the Year and it took 18 years for the Grammys to award the first Black Performer with the Best New Artist Award.   

All of this is not to say that award shows haven’t made progress in their diversity, it’s to say there hasn’t been enough progress. Having all white nominees in multiple or even one category is unacceptable, because there is an endless pool of talent made up of people of color. The only thing left for these awards shows to do is to acknowledge it.

 

Naiima Miller is a sophomore marketing major at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Her love for fashion and beauty helps her to study trends in her culture and on her campus that she hopes to write about for the HerCampus community. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Naiima loves street style, pizza, and Starbucks.
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