Outrage over awards snubs is certainly nothing new, even with an awards organization as notoriously erratic as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which votes on the Golden Globe Awards.
And while the lack of nomination for Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish, especially—not to mention the film itself—wound up its fair share of movie fans and award pundits, Haddish’s Girls Trip co-star Jada Pinkett Smith took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon to offer her own exasperated explanation: The Globes refused to even screen the film.
The actress sent out a series of tweets Tuesday afternoon connecting her dismay over the film’s omission to allegations that the film wasn’t seriously considered by the organization, eventually raising the point of systemic bias in the industry as a whole.
She began clarifying that she wasn’t bemoaning the lack of nominations, per se, but that she was “discouraged” that the HFPA wouldn’t, she alleges, “even WATCH the movie.”
(A source with knowledge tells The Daily Beast that there was a screening on July 18 and the HFPA was also invited to the film’s premiere.)
Special HFPA screenings and press conferences are common for films that are being seriously considered by the organization for awards, and arguably necessary in order for films and performances to be nominated. So necessary, in fact, that several awards pundits joked that the surprise three nominations for Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World resulted from the organization’s flattery over being the first people to screen the film. “The film may well deserve the recognition,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, “but it also may have been graded on a curve.”
“Girls Trip was one of the most successful films this summer & Tiff was hands down the funniest person on screen in 2017 and we couldn’t get eyes on the film or a press conference,” she tweeted. “How could a nom happen & how much more critical acclaim must a movie have to simply get a screening?”
According to Pinkett Smith, Haddish has even already been invited to present at the ceremony, despite the fact that her film wasn’t deemed worthy of screening.
There will certainly be critics who would make the case that Girls Trip deserved as much consideration as films like The Greatest Showman, The Disaster Artist, and I, Tonya, all of which earned Best Picture — Comedy or Musical bids. That’s not to mention the optics of Haddish, one of the year’s biggest breakout stars in one of its most successful comedies, omitted in favor of The Leisure Seeker’s Helen Mirren or Victoria & Abdul’s Judi Dench, two, yes, “traditional” awards contenders, albeit in little-seen films.
“This isn’t about shaming, this is the about the need for discussion of an antiquated system,” Pinkett Smith tweeted. “And I dare not invalidate all the many journalist[s] and people from all walks of life who have supported this movie by defining the issue as simply...racism. Hollywood has systems in place that must learn to expand its concepts of race, gender equality and inclusion in regards to its perceptions of art across the board.”
This year’s Golden Globe nominees hardly resemble the inexcusable whiteout that earned the Academy so much flack when, two years in a row, no actors of color were nominated—despite a plethora of deserving contenders. Mudbound’s Mary J. Blige, Roman Israel, Esq.’s Denzel Washington, Downsizing’s Hong Chau, The Shape of Water’s Octavia Spencer, and Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya are all represented, with Get Out garnering a Best Picture — Comedy or Musical nod as well.
But there was still warranted outcry about diversity when Monday’s nominations were announced, with no female directors making it into the Best Director race—especially Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig—and the failure to recognize the industry’s watershed moment ushered in by Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman by denying the film and its star, Gal Gadot, any nominations.
Plus, Get Out’s Jordan Peele was curiously absent in Best Screenplay and Best Director. Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big Sick, predicted to be a major Globes player, was snubbed completely.
Pinkett Smith broadened her Girls Trip commentary to react to this as well, including the category placement of Get Out.
“The fact that the brilliance of The Big Sick movie went unnoticed and the fact that one of the most prolific films of the year, Get Out, is considered comedy...illuminates the depths of the sunken place...for real.
“Moments like this occur so that we have an opportunity to discuss, recreate and regenerate old paradigms,” she concluded. “It’s all about growth. Love.”
Again, a source with knowledge tells The Daily Beast that there was in fact a HFPA Girls Trip screening. But Pinkett Smith is continuing a vital conversation that she helped spread, somewhat controversially, when she called for a boycott of the Oscars in 2016 over the lack of diversity in its nominees.
“Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?” she said at the time. “Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful. So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.”