“Emily in Paris” writer says “I May Destroy You” deserved Golden Globe nomination

A writer for the Netflix series “Emily In Paris” published an opinion piece Wednesday saying the British drama series “I May Destroy You” deserved a Golden Globe nomination over her own show and said she feels “rage” over the snub.

Deborah Copaken published the piece in the Guardian, arguing that the snub of “I May Destroy You” highlighted Hollywood’s failure to award deserving works from people of color.

“Am I excited that Emily in Paris was nominated? Yes. Of course. I’ve never been remotely close to seeing a Golden Globe statue up close, let alone being nominated for one,” Copaken wrote. “But that excitement is now unfortunately tempered by my rage over (Michaela) Coel’s snub. That I May Destroy You did not get one Golden Globe nod is not only wrong, it’s what is wrong with everything.”

“Emily In Paris,” a Darren Starr comedy debuted by Netflix, was nominated in the category for best television series, musical or comedy, at the Golden Globes on Wednesday, a recognition many, including Copaken, were stunned to see.

While the show was popular, it was criticized for being offensive to French culture and tone-deaf. The show debuted last October, following a summer of anti-racism protests, and received a 60% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Copaken addressed the criticism in her piece. “Emily in Paris aired a few months after I’d spent June and July marching for racial justice through the streets of New York with my kids. I could definitely see how a show about a white American selling luxury whiteness, in a pre-pandemic Paris scrubbed free of its vibrant African and Muslim communities, might rankle,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, “I May Destroy You,” a drama series created by actress and writer Michaela Coel, depicts a beloved author trying to piece together a drunken night. The show was considered a darling of 2020’s dramas, averaging a nearly 98% approval rating.

The series, which tackles mental health, identity, and sexual assault, was applauded for how it addressed difficult subjects as well as the strength of Coel’s performance.

“I May Destroy You was not only my favorite show of 2020. It’s my favorite show ever,” added Copaken. “It takes the complicated issue of a rape — I’m a sexual assault survivor myself — and infuses it with heart, humor, pathos and a story constructed so well, I had to watch it twice, just to understand how Coel did it.”

For the past several years, Hollywood has been heavily criticized for overlooking actors and writers of color during awards season. Copaken argued that if the shows were truly nominated for their quality, they would include a diverse selection of artists.

“My fury is not just about race. Or even about racial representation in art. Yes, we need art that reflects all of our colors, not just some,” she said. “But we also need to give awards to shows (and music and films and plays and musicals) that deserve them, no matter the color of the skin of their creators.”

This year’s Golden Globes nominations also made history for nominating three female directors in the same year — Regina King for “One Night In Miami,” Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman”. Only one woman, Barbara Streisand, has ever won the award, which she received in 1984 for directing “Yentl.”

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