Why the 2020 Golden Globes Could Have Another ‘All-Male Nominees’ Moment

The Golden Globes have had more than a few memorable moments in recent years. In 2016, after getting roasted again by host Ricky Gervais, Mel Gibson said he liked seeing Gervais every three years “because it reminded him to get a colonoscopy.”

The following year, viewers watched Meryl Streep denounce Donald Trump after she received a lifetime achievement award. During Streep’s wide-ranging speech, you could hear a pin drop in the room as several actors’ eyes welled up with tears.

In 2018, in the wake of a massive sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood, Natalie Portman shook up the room while introducing the nominees for best director that year. “And here are the all-male nominees,” she said, to cheers and exclamations of shock from the audience.

After getting a look at the list of 2020 Golden Globe nominees, you might expect more of the same at the upcoming event. For this year’s Best Director award, the Hollywood Foreign Press Associated again nominated five men.

HFPA’s president said ‘we don’t vote by gender’

Awkwafina, Lulu Wang, Diana Lin and Tzi Ma of ‘The Farewell’ attend an IMDb Studio event on January 25, 2019. | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

In a report on the all-male nominee list, Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh pointed out that only five women have received a Best Director nod in Golden Globe Awards history. (The awards date back to 1944.) That’s quite a statistic, and it didn’t budge this time around.

Nominations for the 2020 award went to Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood), Sam Mendes (1917), Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), and Todd Phillips (Joker). After announcing the nominees, HFPA president Lorenzo Soria responded to some of the feedback about the list on social media.

“What happened is that we don’t vote by gender,” Soria told Variety on December 9. “We vote by film and accomplishment.” Certainly, you could make a case that the nominees accomplished more than other directors. However, you could also argue that Phillips and Joker doesn’t belong there.

If you go by critical consensus, Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers) checked all the boxes. But Joker didn’t rank in the year’s top 100 films on Rotten Tomatoes.

Directors and actors of color made little headway in TV nods

Filmmakers Guillermo del Doro and Martin McDonagh attend a Golden Globe Awards after-party on January 7, 2018. | Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Looking at the field in TV performances, you might also anticipate some backlash to the list of nominees. Of the 40 nominations that went to actors, only three non-white performers (including no women of color) received a nod for a 2020 Golden Globe.

Among those snubbed, the omissions of Zendaya (HBO’s Euphoria) and Regina King (The Watchmen) will raise some eyebrows. And the voters missing Mahershala Ali’s performance in True Detective is a genuine head-scratcher.

But that’s how award shows work. As Alma Har’el (Honey Boy) said on Twitter, “Do not look for justice in the awards system.” Ava DuVernay, who did not see her acclaimed When They See Us nominated, had a different take. “These things are a cherry on top,” DuVernay tweeted. “The sundae is yummy with or without it.”

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