Jada Pinkett Smith has a lot of thoughts on discrimination at the Golden Globes

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Moya Crockett
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The actress says her Girls Trip co-star Tiffany Haddish was snubbed by judges at the Golden Globes – and she thinks she knows why.

Jada Pinkett Smith has offered a thoughtful critique of the absence of her Girls Trip co-star, Tiffany Haddish, from the 2018 Golden Globes nominations.

Haddish was widely vaunted as the breakout star of Girls Trip, which tells the story of four old university friends who go on a raucous minibreak to New Orleans. Since appearing in the film, the actress and comedian has hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live and been voted Best Supporting Actress by the New York Film Critics Circle.

However, Haddish was conspicuously left out of the list of Golden Globes nominees for best actress in a musical or comedy – despite the fact that Girls Trip was one of the year’s most successful adult-oriented comedies, and generally received glowing reviews.

Writing on Twitter, Pinkett Smith said that she wasn’t frustrated with the Golden Globes because Girls Trip or Haddish had not been selected. 

Rather, she was disappointed that no one from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) had even watched their film.

From L-R: Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip

HFPA is the organisation of journalists and photographers that conducts the Golden Globes every January, and its members are responsible for selecting which actors are nominated for awards. As a result, if you can’t persuade a significant number of HFPA members to watch your film, you’re extremely unlikely to receive a Golden Globe nomination.

“I’m not upset about @TiffanyHaddish or @GirlsTripMovie not getting a nom… I’m discouraged about the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press/@goldenglobes wouldn’t even WATCH the movie,” Pinkett Smith wrote.

She added: “Girls Trip was one of the most successful films this summer and Tiff was hands down the funniest person on screen in 2017 and we couldn’t get eyes on the film or a press conference.

“How could a [nomination] happen and how much more critical acclaim must a movie have simply to get a screening?”

Pinkett Smith said she wasn’t trying to ‘shame’ the Golden Globes, particularly as Haddish has been asked to present an award at the ceremony.

She added that she didn’t want to suggest that the root cause of the problem was simply “racism”, as there were “many journalist[s] and people from all walks of life who have supported this movie”.

However, she said that conversation was urgently needed about how Golden Globes nominees are chosen.

“This isn’t about shaming, this is about the need for discussion of an antiquated system… Hollywood has systems in place that must learn to expand its concepts of race, gender equality and inclusion in regard to its perceptions of art across the board,” said Pinkett Smith. 

She also challenged the exclusion of The Big Sick from the comedy nominations, and questioned whether Get Out should have been nominated in the ‘musical or comedy’ categories.

Pinkett Smith concluded her thread on a hopeful note. 

“Moments like this occur so that we have an opportunity to discuss, recreate and regenerate old paradigms,” she said. 

The Cut notes that there was a HFPA screening of Girls Trip in July, but this was a long time before most association members would have really begun thinking about which actors and what films they would nominate.

Pinkett Smith’s frustration with her film being blocked from the Golden Globes also reflects a wider dissatisfaction with how women’s creative endeavours are rewarded – or not – at the big awards ceremonies. Earlier this week, there was a backlash when it was revealed that not a single woman had been nominated in the best director category.

Here’s hoping that Pinkett Smith is right, and old paradigms will soon start to change. 

Images: Rex Features