Critics have been raving over Melina Matsoukas’s directorial debut in Queen & Slim—but the director claims that Golden Globe voters refused to watch her film which resulted in the picture receiving zero nominations for the upcoming awards ceremony.
In an exclusive interview with Variety, Matsoukas says she didn’t bother setting an alarm the day Golden Globe nominations were announced because she knew she and her film would be overlooked.
“It’s extremely discouraging. It’s extremely infuriating,” said Matsoukas. “And it just represents an archaic system that is full of people who don’t value us.”
Matsoukas had been briefed by members of her team that members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the body that votes on Golden Globe nominees and winners, skipped screenings they were invited to. Sources told Variety that Universal Pictures hosted multiple Queen & Slim screenings for HFPA voters, only about four individual members actually attended and viewed the film.
“We held three screenings for the HFPA and almost no members attended,” Matsoukas told Variety. “For me, it’s reflective of their voting body. It’s not reflective of the society in which we live in or the industry as it stands today. They don’t value the stories that represent all of us, and those stories are so often disregarded and discredited, as are their filmmakers.”
A rep from the HFPA contested the rumors, saying voters were sent screeners and could have watched Queen & Slim from home. The association told Variety in a statement, “The HFPA maintains that ‘Queen & Slim’ was in the conversation amongst the membership.”
Ever since the film, written and produced by Lena Waithe, was released over Thanksgiving weekend, it’s gone on to earn $30 million at the box office, far outperforming initial expectations. Its stars, Jodie Turner Smith and Daniel Kaluuya, have also been praised for their performances. Queen & Slim marks Matsoukas’s debut feature film directorial debut, having formerly worked with the likes of Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and more on Grammy-winning music videos.
During the interview, Matsoukas had a firm and clear message for the HFPA voters who overlooked her work: “Your time is over.”
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