No Award For You!

A collection of Golden Globes awards trophies
Awards show ballots aren't just about who's nominated, it's who’s missing that's often more important. The 75th Golden Globes were no different, and here’s why.

The 75th Golden Globe nominees were announced recently. And right off the bat, people (myself included) seemed more surprised by who wasn’t on the ballot. In addition, critically acclaimed directors were snubbed.

Nomination panels have always been just like that passive aggressive girl you knew in middle school that didn’t invite everyone to her birthday party. However, the implications of the missing nominees this year are much more serious than hurt feelings.

Keep your hands off my Golden Globes!

At this point, everyone has an opinion on the slew of sexual allegations being tossed around in the media. We know about the repercussions that the accused are facing. With award season in full swing, the magnitude of these repercussions is more noticeable than ever.

For instance, voters are seemingly punishing award-winning series for their actors’ misconduct. Both House of Cards and Transparent are not up for any awards. Of course, these results have nothing to do with accusations of sexual assault directed towards lead actors Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor.

Now, many will argue that you can’t withhold an award from a talented creator because of their sexual perversion, especially if it’s unproven. Let me be clear: I am all for “innocent until proven guilty.” The issue is that award season has a deadline. And nominating someone when they’re in the middle of a sexual assault case doesn’t seem wise. If they are innocent, great! If not, the resulting debate over their candidacy is a press nightmare.

Conversely, if the accused is upfront about their offenses before nomination season begins, a la Spacey, they should stay far away from that ballot. Bottom line, if sexual assault accusations engulfs a nominee, it’s probably best to keep them off the red carpet for awhile.

Sending a message, and refusing dismissal

Maybe this sounds harsh. Maybe you’re not convinced that someone should lose nomination for what happens when the cameras stop rolling. But let’s consider the message giving an award to a sex offender can send. To the winner themselves, an award can seem like a dismissal of any offenses. It feels like public forgives the accused just as they celebrate and honor them for standing above others in their craft. The ends justify the means.

For us as the audience, it’s confusing. We acknowledge the talent of the individual, but giving them this positive attention is questionable at best. For the victim of sexual assault, seeing their assaulter honored on such a grand scale is another form of dismissal. It is a dismissal of the risks they took in unveiling information, of all the pain they suffered during the ordeal. It is a dismissal of them.

Does one bad apple ruin the bunch?

Of course, there’s a dilemma. What about the other thousands of people involved in creating a film or television series? Should their co-worker’s inability to respect someone else’s boundaries keep them off the ballot? It’s truly sad to think that many creative minds go unrecognized because of the actions of another.

Personally, I don’t think an entire production deserves punishment because of the failures of one individual. Yet, entire films or series are left off the ballot because of crew-wide negligence. When multiple members of the cast and/or crew are aware of misconduct and simply fail to report it, there are repercussions. This, in a sense, taints the whole production. While I can’t argue with that logic, excluding an entire cast and crew from award season because of one person seems a bit extreme to me.

Passive-aggressive, yet warranted

Now, here’s where my earlier analogy of that passive-aggressive preteen really comes into play. By this point, most everyone knows that Kevin Spacey’s scenes in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World were removed and reshot with veteran actor Christopher Plummer after sexual allegations against Spacey proved all too true. Well, Plummer is up for a Golden Globe for his performance. The man can act, don’t get me wrong. But this is clearly a passive-aggressive middle finger directed at Spacey, right? A look-what-could-have-been-if-you-kept-your-hands-to-yourself kind of moment.

Keep it up ladies!

I was overjoyed that Greta Gerwig’s stellar coming-of-age tale, Lady Bird, was nominated for four Golden Globes. But, I was equally disappointed that neither Gerwig nor Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) were nominated for Best Director.

But then I thought, you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay because women are making huge strides in the industry. This is not a loss. I encourage my fellow women in film to not cry sexist when reading the five male nominees’ names. Rather, I hope they see it as talent and experience, not gender bias, that led to the current nomination decisions.

Last year, I didn’t know who Greta Gerwig or Patty Jenkins were. Now, these talented ladies are nipping at the heels of Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Guillermo del Toro, and Martin McDonagh.

True, women in film often have less experience than their male counterparts; and yes, that’s because of lopsided gender roles in film. But discrepancies like this aren’t amended by a single Best Director nomination. We can’t undo the past, but we can choose to move beyond it. We have some catching up to do, and yeah, it’s not fair. However, I beg you fellow sisters in film: don’t be bitter and don’t be a quitter!

Women like Gerwig and Jenkins have proved that regardless of decades of setbacks, women in film are resilient and just as talented as men. Sure, this is another year for the men at the Globes, but Gerwig and Jenkins, along with all the other women in film, can stand proud knowing that they are paving the way.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I was quite pleased with the nominations and I’m looking forward to the big night. There have been so many great television series and movies this year, I do not envy the nomination panels their jobs.

Were there any nominations that surprised you? Feel free to leave your comments below and thank you so much for reading!

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