Despite electrifying the culture and winning a pair of Emmy Awards, Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” television miniseries on Netflix was, conspicuously and inexplicably snubbed by the Golden Globe voters.
“When They See Us” revolved around the “Central Park Five” — now known as the “Exonerated Five” — which was falsely charged and convicted of raping a White female jogger in Manhattan’s Central Park in the 1980s. All five Black and Brown men served prison time. They all have since been exonerated of the crime and received a multimillion-dollar settlement from New York State.
Back in September, “When They See Us” earned 15 Emmy nominations and scored two wins at that awards show, including one for lead actor Jharrel Jerome. Therefore, most urbanites were surprised that “When They See Us” was left off the Golden Globe list completely.
Ava DuVernay, who also directed the award-winning film Selma, was tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic as she discussed her dynamic film’s lack of award recognition.
Upside of not being nominated for Golden Globe for WHEN THEY SEE US: I don’t have to juggle getting into hair, makeup + gown while researching, reading and worrying about impeding war. Also: easier to block trolls without newly manicured nails. Thanks, HFPA. This is a win win! pic.twitter.com/U5YN0xQLsU
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 5, 2020
Despite her obvious disappointment with her film not garnering any Golden Globe nods last month, DuVernay’s basically told her Twitter followers that “When They See Us” is a masterpiece whether or not it is substantiated by the academy of voters.
Besides, DuVernay’s real awards came when the film inspired the boycott, and subsequent resignation, of the lead prosecutor in the infamous case, Elizabeth Lederer (former Columbia University professor). The film also forced Dutton books to drop the other main prosecutor, bestselling author Linda Fairstein, from their roster of book writers.
Therefore, as DuVernay tweeted last month when she learned “When They See Us” was left off the list of Golden Globe nominees, she’s already tasted victory. And that delicious flavor is still washing around in her mouth like fine wine.
“These things are a cherry on top,” she tweeted at the time. “The sundae is yummy with or without it. And this one has been particularly delicious.”