Golden Globes accused of ‘erasure’ after snubbing Michaela Coel’s acclaimed I May Destroy You

Patrick Kelleher
·4-min read

Michaela Coel’s acclaimed series I May Destroy You, which won plaudits for its frank exploration of sexual assault, has been snubbed by the Golden Globes.

The series follows Arabella (Coel), a young novelist who is drugged and raped while on a night out with friends in London. The series was a huge hit with LGBT+ audiences for its powerful exploration of consent, with one storyline depicting the sexual assault of Kwame (Paapa Essiedu), a young Black gay man.

While I May Destroy You was heralded as one of the best television series of 2020 by numerous critics, it failed to garner any Golden Globe nominations on Wednesday (3 February).

Coel’s series missed out on a nod in the Best Limited Series category, which saw Normal People, The Queen’s Gambit, Small Axe, The Undoing and Unorthodox garner nominations instead.

The series also missed out in the Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie category, with Cate Blanchett (Mrs America), Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), Shira Haas (Unorthodox), Nicole Kidman (The Undoing) and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit) getting recognised instead.

The Golden Globes’ failure to nominate I May Destroy You in any category comes after the awards ceremony faced backlash in 2020 for snubbing When They See Us and Watchmen, two shows that put Black people front and centre.

Twitter unites in confusion as the Golden Globes snubs I May Destroy You.

The failure to nominate Coel’s powerful series for any awards is already receiving criticism from people on Twitter, with many pointing out that Netflix’s Emily in Paris – a series that was widely watched but largely panned by critics – managed to garner several nods.

Several LGBT+ themed shows and films, including Schitt’s Creek, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ratched and The Prom did get some recognition in the Golden Globes nominations.

However, many queer people expressed confusion at seeing James Corden nominated for his critically-panned and “borderline offensive” portrayal of a gay man in The Prom.

Meanwhile, the musical’s other stars – including Meryl Streep, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose and Jo Ellen Pellman – were all roundly snubbed, despite a positive reception for their roles.

One reviewer named Corden as the film’s main “drawback”, saying his “horrifically bad” performance was “gross and offensive, the worst gayface in a long, long time.”