'I May Destroy You' Golden Globes Snub

Netflix's 'Emily in Paris' Golden Globes nominations over Michaela Cole's 'I May Destroy You' proves Hollywood still values style over substance.

'I May Destroy You' Golden Globes Snub

To say that Michaela Cole's critically acclaimed drama I May Destroy You is brilliant feels like an understatement.It takes the commonly experienced trauma of sexual assault and the taboo surrounding it and balances a haze of flashbacks, emotional shock and questions of memory with a frank portrayal of survival that does not allow its audience to look away. Without trying to simplify its ingenuity, the overarching message of the show is that there is no right or wrong way to process a traumatic experience such as rape. Cole's character Arabella grapples with revenge plots, fantasies and self-destructive behaviour, as the show also raises questions about friendship and loyalty through its supporting characters.

Meanwhile, Netflix's Emily in Paris literally does what it says on the tin. Lily Collins, a clueless American, gets a job in Paris and finds trouble adjusting to French customs and sensibilities. Cringeworthy and superficial, the only good thing that can be said for the supposed comedy is that it is beautiful to watch, but even this is down to the setting of Paris itself and cannot be credited to the show. At most, it was good mindless lockdown fodder. 

Now, which one sounds like it deserves award nominations? 

The Golden Globes mark the beginning of Hollywood's award season, so, needless to say, its nominations are a big deal. Emily in Paris garnered two nominations for Best TV Series and Best Actress, while I May Destroy You was nowhere to be seen. Paradoxically, this resulted in a writer on Emily in Paris declaring the unfairness of the snub. Other industry writers, actors, and even former US President Barack Obama have expressed their love of the show. Cole has yet to comment herself. 

The glamour of Paris and Lily Collins's kitsch outfits have clearly blinded the judging panel to Cole's hat-trick of subversive writing, co-direction and arresting performance set against the backdrop of gritty London. Not to mention that I May Destroy You features an almost exclusively black cast, whereas Emily in Paris is as whitewashed as its title suggests. There was hope that after the #MeToo #OscarsSoWhite and #BlackLivesMatter movements that Hollywood would reflect this growing frustration with gender and racial inequalities, and I May Destroy You skilfully tackles each of these subjects. However, this snub is just one of many invalidations of any progress that has been made over the past few years, and it is disappointing to see.

Header Image Credit: Amazon


Claire Jenns

Claire Jenns Kickstart Team

English Literature graduate, loves reading, writing and travel.

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  • De-Mornae Clarke

    On 15 February 2021, 15:43 De-Mornae Clarke Kickstart Team commented:

    After watching and really being challenged by I May Destroy You, it broke my heart to see that there was no recognition for this series. More people need to talk about the lack of black writers in the industry so thank you for bringing it to the forefront.

  • Ophelia Appleby

    On 17 February 2021, 01:16 Ophelia Appleby Kickstart Team commented:

    This has very eloquently summed up what a lot of people have been saying and also brings into question what the actual pointtttt of the Golden Globes really is ??? Surely they are aware of the general frustration - they can't have been so wrapped up in their Hollywood world that they just missed everything thats been going on with BLM and OscarsSoWhite and just the fact that black women and topics like those in 'I May Destroy You' cannotttt be ignored anymore. Are they trying to make some kind of statement about what matters to the golden globes are did they just not think? I'm quite interested now to find out who actually makes these decisions...

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