Golden Globes: No Longer the Gold Standard

Jess Bradbury explains just how unforgiveable the Golden Globes snub of 'I May Destroy You' is with shows like 'Emily in Paris' still in the running

Jess Bradbury
16th February 2021
Image Credit: IMDb
The Golden Globes has surrounded itself in controversy recently, nominating the mediocre Emily in Paris whilst completely ignoring Michaela Cole’s groundbreaking I May Destroy You. Naturally, this leads to one question: what the hell were they thinking?
Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You, Credit: IMDb

I’d be lying if I said I was surprised when it emerged that I May Destroy You received no nominations whilst Emily in Paris had been given a nod for best TV comedy. These types of snubs are news stories that we’ve become used to hearing about each awards season, not only from the Golden Globes but also from other prestigious shows such as the Oscars or Grammys. Yet there is no doubt that each time it becomes more disappointing to hear that truly powerful series are being ignored for what can only be described as the lowest of TV quality.

I May Destroy You opened the mind of its viewers, bringing these serious issues into the front and centre of mainstream media discussions

I May Destroy You was authentic and revolutionary, forefronting the culture and experiences of black British people whilst cutting deep into the subjects of sexual abuse and trauma. This series opened the mind of its viewers, bringing these serious issues into the front and centre of mainstream media discussions, whilst exquisitely demonstrating the power of stories written by marginalised people. Michaela Coel was the genius behind this series: writing, co-directing, executive producing and starring in the story based on her own real-life experiences. The care and dedication put into this series were clear from the very first episode, and the narrative feats that Coel achieved with it are what truly makes it one of the best series not only of last year but also of the last decade of TV. 

Lily Collins in Emily in Paris, Credit: IMDb

Emily in Paris, on the other hand, was everything that Coel’s masterpiece isn’t. The characters are dislikeable and the story wasn’t revolutionary. I’d say that the costumes were it’s only saving grace. That’s not to say that Lily Collins was bad as the lead of the series, but she didn’t have the gravitas of Michaela Coel’s Arabella and no lasting impression was made on the viewer. It is clear to see which of these shows was critically acclaimed and which was very quickly panned. So even though I wasn’t surprised to see that I May Destroy You had been snubbed, it doesn’t mean that I am not baffled and enraged - particularly when the writer of Emily in Paris has admitted that the former should have been given at least a nod.

Do I consider the Golden Globes to retain any value after the latest nominations? Put simply I would say no. In a year marked by BLM protests and the promise of big corporations promising to promote diversity on their platforms, it is frustrating to see that little progress has been made. Yes, this year's show has made history with three female directors nominated, but it still doesn’t feel like enough. In light of I May Destroy You’s snub, perhaps the time has come to give the Golden Globes a taste of their own medicine and ignore them completely too.

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