If the Golden Globes are supposed to celebrate outstanding films, how come it doesn’t award the amazing non-male directors of our time? Or, as the Los Angeles Times puts it, the theme of the film awards is and stays “all men, all the time”.
The film award made headlines with its 2021 nominations because three of the five nominees for the Golden Globe Best Director Award were women. Those three brought up the total of women nominated for the award to just nine since 1980! The 2021 edition is the first time that more than one female director was shortlisted, after two years of an all-male directors line-up. With Chloé Zhao winning the 2021 golden statue for Nomadland, it’s just the second time that a woman actually won the award following Barbara Streisand with Yentl in 1984.
Whilst the representation of women was higher in 2021, the racist biases of the award were as clear as ever. These finally received some long-overdue attention. The activist film organisation Time’s Up called out The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFBA) for not having a single Black journalist in their membership, nor had they had a Black member for the last 20 years. This activism pushed the HFBA to publish a statement, promising more transparency in how they select their journalists and promised to address diversity issues.
This movement was sparked by the fact that Michaela Coen’s I May Destroy You was not nominated despite being one of the most acclaimed shows of 2020. The outcries around the white and patriarchally structured Golden Globes demonstrate the strong biases within the film and award industry, making the award not an objective reflection of quality, but of privilege.