Ava DuVernay surrounded by her American heroes. Source

Why The Golden Globes Shafted “When They See Us”

Ezinne Ukoha
6 min readDec 9, 2019

Award season is officially lit with the wakeup call of the 2020 Golden Globe nominations, and to say that’s it’s “a white, white world” in Hollywood is an understatement.

The illustrious list of nominees that were selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, that has been hailed as the predictor for what the Oscars will look like, basically reverts us back to the bad old days, before #OscarsSoWhite was unleashed back in 2015 by founder, April Reign, in response to the gross negligence of the 2016 Oscar nominations.

The online furor sparked the growing movement that helped propel the viability of that prolific hashtag. It also gained traction when A-listers who could attest to the industry’s nasty habit of practiced exclusion against non-White talents, actively spoke out and used the viral symbol for extra measure.

Months after the Academy was shaken to its core proved to be a heightened period of adjustments and major revisions, that were set forth by the institution’s dutiful and responsive president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who has since been replaced by successor David Rubin.

Under the leadership of Isaacs, who is the first Black woman ever to serve in the role of president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, there was an aggressive approach to diversifying a predominately White club of obstinate members, who have fought long and hard to retain the mantra that shuts out those who never apply.

Isaacs maximized her power to ensure that the voting rules would be updated to reflect the depth of variety, that has been jarringly missing ever since La La Land came into existence. There was the extension of invites to a healthy number of non-White creatives, who were happy to oblige for the sake of adding more color to a starkly white landscape.

Undoubtedly there was a lot of push back from older, White members of the Academy, who weren’t on board with this festive climate of change, that demands the celebration of equality in all its various forms, through the lenses of passionate storytellers from every background.

It appeared that the industry-at-large was ready for the wave of acute awareness, that establishes the rules according to what’s fair.