Film Forward

The 2017 Golden Globe Nominations Show Progress For Hollywood After #OscarsSoWhite

It's a step in the right direction.

The 2017 Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning and live streamed on Facebook. The awards, which honor accomplishments in both film and television, are typically a good indicator of which actors and filmmakers will go on to be nominated for (and, in many cases, win) an Academy Award. 

This marks the start of the first award season since last year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy, sparked by the total exclusion of people of color in all four acting categories. The Academy, which has historically been overwhelmingly White and male (93 and 76 percent, respectively, as of 2013), responded to the outcry by announcing plans to increase diversity among its members. We'll have to wait until January to see just how much has changed, but if this morning's nominations are any indication, this year's hashtag could very well be #OscarsNotSoWhite.

The 2017 Golden Globes ceremony will feature several non-White nominees in the major film categories:

Ruth Negga is nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, for Loving.

Denzel Washington is nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama, for Fences.

The Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture category features three women of color: Viola Davis for Fences, Naomie Harris for Moonlight, and Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures.

The Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture category features two non-White actors: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight and Dev Patel for Lion.

Additionally, Barry Jenkins is nominated for writing and directing Moonlight, and several Best Picture nominees (Moonlight, Lion, Hidden Figures) focus on non-White protagonists.

This is a distinct step forward not only from last year's Oscars, but also from last year's Golden Globes, when only two actors of color were nominated. (The television categories, meanwhile, continue to reflect the format's increasing dedication to diverse storytelling.)

While this is certainly a sign of progress, and the work of these nominees deserves to be celebrated, it is by no means a perfect solution, and there are still plenty of gaps in representation. The Musical or Comedy categories, for example, feature only White nominees, and the actors of color who were nominated in the Drama categories are mostly Black — other groups, such as Latinos and Asians, continue to be underrepresented. The directing and screenwriting categories also remain male-dominated.

There is still a lot of work to be done, and it should start well before any ballots are cast. The film industry needs to encourage more diversity both in front of and behind the camera, and stop whitewashing roles that should go to people of color. As Viola Davis said in her historic Emmys acceptance speech last year, "You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there." The same applies for the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and beyond.

Watch the Golden Globes, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, live on NBC January 8. Then look forward to the Academy Award nominations January 24.

Cover image via YouTube