Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” was undoubtedly the talk of many households and the reason for many spiraling emotions. The four-part Netflix series evoked pain, grief, frustration and more, as viewers witnessed an unadulterated depiction of what led to the wrongful conviction of five Harlem teens – Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana. The critically acclaimed writer-director brought the story of justice for the-now Exonerated 5 to the homes of many. Not only that, she humanized the five men who were wrongly accused of violently raping and assaulting a white woman who was jogging in New York’s Central Park in 1989.
MORE: Dear White People: Make Your White Friends Watch ‘When They See Us’
The men, who were shamefully labeled the Central Park Five, maintained their innocence and spent years fighting their conviction with hopes of being exonerated. DuVernay was committed to telling the real story, which affirms the blatant negligence of the NYPD detectives and the New York County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors that were working on the case.
The men were eventually exonerated in 2002 and collected a $41 million settlement in 2014.
Nonetheless, “When They See Us” deserves all of the accolades and praise. The film received 16 Emmy nominations, with lead actor Jharrel Jerome taking home the award for lead actor. DuVernay’s series was also the most recognized show among the nominees for the Critics’ Choice Awards, which were announced on Sunday.
However, the Golden Globes has apparently traded places with the Oscars and proudly strapped on their ‘so white’ hat. You guessed it, “When They See Us” received zero Golden Globe nominations. But of course, award nomination announcements would be remiss if they only dropped the ball with one snub.
The Golden Globes has also failed to recognize Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in Jordan Peele’s “Us.” Nyong’o has won a string of awards for her dual-acting roles as “Red” and “Adelaide” – Best Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle, Best Actress at the Toronto Film Critics Association and Best Actress at the Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association.
Instead of Lupita receiving a nod for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama Motion Picture, the following actresses were nominated: Cynthia Erivo for “Harriet Tubman,” Scarlett Johansson for “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan for “Little Women,” Charlize Theron for “Bombshell,” and Renée Zellweger for “Judy.”
One would think that with Lupita receiving all of these well-deserved wins, award committees across the board might be on one accord, but that is also wishful thinking.
“Euphoria” was also an ever-present hashtag on social media thanks to Zendaya’s performance in the HBO series. No nominations there, either.
The Twitterverse remains confused about why immensely talented black actors, actresses, writers and directors are always receiving the short end of the stick, or no end at all, but we must consider if we even want a seat at these tables.
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