If Chadwick Boseman is alive to receive the Best Actor award in the Golden Globe Awards 2021 for his extraordinary performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, he would have mocked at the broken promises made by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Consisting of 90 journalists, this organisation chooses the honourees for the Golden Globe. The HFPA, which claimed to be a platform that welcomes diversity and social change, did not have even a single black member for the 2021 Golden Globe Award Ceremony. Also, reports say that for the past 20 years, the organisation had zero black members. Not surprisingly, in the long period from 1959 to 2021, only four black actors received the best actor award in the Golden Globe!
The first black person to receive the Golden Globe award for the best actor was Sidney Poitier in 1959. It took 41 years after that for another black actor, Denzel Washington, to receive Golden Globe. Before Boseman in 2007, Forest Whitaker won the award for the film The Last King of Scotland. Apart from the best actor award, a few other awards in the prestigious Golden Globe 2021 were also won by the black people. This includes Daniel Kaluuya, who won the Best Supporting Actor in his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah. Most shamefully, the latest edition of the Golden Globe has snubbed one of the most acclaimed series that came out in the last year, ‘I May Destroy You’ made by Michaela Coel. The series talks about rape and its aftermath through a brilliant narrative. The 2021 Golden Globe Award ceremony witnessed public criticism against the HFPA for its racist nature. Leading Hollywood figures Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo, and Judd Apatow raised their voice against the organisation using the hashtag #TimesUpGlobes. Recent reports of the Los Angeles Times exposed the corrupt and racist nature of many popular organisations, including the HFPA. Despite the initiatives by various institutions and organisations to address racism, the dearth of black representation in Hollywood is alarming indeed. For many years there is constant criticism for Hollywood to address the racial disparities within the industry. Recent time has witnessed the making of films and series that address racism and social discrimination.