April 22, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Golden Globes: Andra Day 2nd Black woman to win best actress

Andra Day won the Golden Globe for actress in a motion picture, drama for her performance in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” and in doing so became only the second Black performer to ever claim the prize.

The category is among the most emblematic of the challenges and controversies faced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. The structural conditions of who makes up the group’s membership and the projects and performers they have chosen to celebrate over the years means that the only Black woman to win in the category ahead of Sunday night was Whoopi Goldberg for “The Color Purple” in 1987.

The other nominees in the category were Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Vanessa Kirby for “Pieces of a Woman,” Frances McDormand for “Nomadland” and Carey Mulligan for “Promising Young Woman.”

The HFPA, the 87-member organization that votes for the Golden Globe Awards, has faced widespread criticism this year in the wake of a Times investigation into ethical lapses. Among the investigation’s findings was the fact the group has no Black members. The fallout included an organized Time’s Up social media protest urging the HFPA: “A cosmetic fix isn’t enough.”

Even before these recents revelations, the HFPA has long been criticized for overlooking people of color. While “Ma Rainey” also received a nomination for actor Chadwick Boseman, it was not recognized with a nomination for best motion picture. Other black-centered projects such as movies “Da 5 Bloods,” “Judas and the Black Messiah” and TV’s “I May Destroy You” were also overlooked in the top film and TV categories.

This was the first Globe nomination for both Day and Kirby. This was Davis’ sixth Globe nomination and she previously won for her performance in another Wilson adaptation, 2016’s “Fences.” Mulligan had previously been nominated for 2009’s “An Education.” McDormand has been nominated 7 times, having previously won for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”