Maggie Connolly ’21
Journalist Rejected from the HFPA
Editor’s note: This article appears in our annual Eggplant Edition, comprised exclusively of satirical articles.
We are officially in the thick of the greatest time of year: award show season. It is an exciting year for many newcomers in the music, film, and television industry. The Grammy’s were early in March and the Golden Globes swept the nation in late February. Meanwhile, the Oscars are just under a month away.
So, what does it cost to win one of these prestigious awards? Well at the Globes, it is about $1,400 and a transcontinental plane ride. At least that is what it cost to get Emily in Paris nominated for two Golden Globes.
The 30 journalists from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that were flown to Paris on this all-expenses paid vacation, excuse me, work trip, were just 30 white members of the 87 all-white organization that dictates the awards show.
The Golden Globes are clearly the most prestigious of the big three awards shows, constantly revered even by its own hosts. In 2016, host Ricky Gervais called the awards given “a bit of metal that some nice old confused journalists wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you.” These 87 journalists that make up the HFPA are some of the most cultured, in-tune members of society. A mediocre performance from Lily Collins with a cringey phone case, Darren Star, and angry French people? It truly does not get much more worldly than that.
They are so in touch with the culture of film and television that they included everyone’s Netflix guilty-pleasure show in their nominations in lieu of the countless works by Black folk from 2020. In the midst of a global racial reckoning, they chose the whitest, untoasted croissant of a television show.
The HFPA simply ‘forgot’ Michaela Coel’s show I May Destroy You and Insecure, both with black female leads. They also did not seem to watch Da Five Bloods, Judas and the Black Messiah, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, or One Night in Miami. They must have been too busy at the Louvre to sit down and watch the films. Of course, we all had the busiest schedules in 2020.
In a statement released after the show, the HFPA claimed they have always worked towards “elevating future film and television professionals from all walks of life unified by their shared passion and love for film and television.” The life of the institution’s really seems to have worked to include professionals “from all walks of life” this year through Emily in Paris. One of their own writers called the culture of the show, “a white American selling luxury whiteness.” A gorgeous representation of all walks of life, if I do say so myself.
The Globes clearly have the purest of intentions when it comes to rebuilding their legacy of French-inclusive, award show worthy-adjacent content. They gave themselves a brisk deadline of 60 days to figure their new message out, a brisk deadline for some earnest changes! They had a year to sit with their trip to Paris and unravel the morality, or lack thereof, behind nominating Emily in Paris. But hey, who says people, or decades old institutions, cannot change in 60 days! If there is hope for the 87 white journalists in the HFPA, there is probably hope for ending white supremacy in the country at large. We just need a 60-day deadline!