Have you ever spent New Year’s Eve in Denver?
The champagne and laughter are inescapable, and you’ll find more color in a carton of eggs, but if you’re “lucky,” you’ll stumble upon a familiar soul trapped inside of a trust fund baby—kind of like last night at the Golden Globes.
Actually, New Year’s Eve in Denver is a lot like the Golden Globes.
Over the past three or four years, I’ve had the privilege of attending countless award shows, movie premieres, red carpets, and other Instagram-worthy events, but it’s been a long ass time since I experienced anything like I did last night at the Beverly Hilton during the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards.
Painfully white award shows are nothing new; they are par for the course and have been for decades. But after #OscarsSoWhite strived to make diversity and inclusion more than just buzzwords, Hollywood has been riddled with guilt and made great strides—supposedly—to rectify its historically blanched ways.
Yet last night, I had the privilege of watching white face after white face collect award after award while brilliant work like When They See Us, Just Mercy, and Watchmen went completely ignored.
And for those who were actually nominated, such as Billy Porter (for Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Drama Series), Beyoncé (for Best Original Motion Picture Song), and Eddie Murphy (for Best Performance in a Musical or Comedy), not a single black person took home an award.
The red carpet was equally as short on black talent, as fellow The Root staff writer Tonja Renée Stidhum and I spent hours searching high and low for a black face to talk to. Thankfully, undeniable talent like If Beale Street Could Talk director Barry Jenkins and Harriet star Cynthia Erivo took the time to discuss their projects and influences, while others were either nowhere to be found or blatantly blew us off—and please don’t make me name names—in favor of the allure of white outlets.
Yet through all the frustration and bewilderment, all I could think about was how black people are forced to survive hostile work environments every single day and that these black actors, directors, and other incredibly talented individuals are no different. It’s just that their microaggressions manifest as award snubs and lackluster opportunities.
And this is why I don’t fault other black journalists for boycotting this charade entirely.