Audiences took note when the fabulously funny Girl’s Trip wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe this year, and now the film — which has been regarded by critics as “genius physical comedy” — is being snubbed by the Academy Awards.
The film, which stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, and newcomer Tiffany Haddish, tells the story of four black girlfriends who go on a raucous trip to get away from the stressors of everyday life. Critics and audiences alike loved the film’s comedic originality with The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis saying, “Girls Trip’ adds complexity to the picture by bringing in class, even as it dispatches with whiteness, showing it the door so that these women can find themselves while rediscovering the power and pleasures of sisterhood.”
Back in December, Pinkett Smith took to Twitter to voice her disapproval over the fact that Haddish wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe after she won best supporting actress at the New York Film Critics Circle, beating out Lady Bird’s Laurie Metcalf and I, Tonya’s Allison Janney.
People thought Haddish’s performance would make the actress a serious contender for both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards this year. Some of us were even hoping she’d get to read her own name this morning (she was one of the 2018 nominee presenters, alongside Andy Serkis).
A little research shows that this snub is not an isolated incident (because actors who give groundbreaking performances get snubbed every once in a while, right?), but, as Pinkett Smith asserted, this omission is an indicator of a larger systemic problem. A 2016 report by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that only 14% of all female characters in movies were black, despite the fact that films with diverse casts see some of the biggest returns at the box office. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that not a single actress in the Best Actress category is a woman of color this year.
This is particularly significant in a year shaped by the #MeToo movement — originally created by a woman of color — and a #TimesUp campaign that similarly seeks to protect the rights of the marginalized. Yet is seems as though consistently recognizing women of color continues to be a major problem in the entertainment field.
As Pinkett Smith said in her Twitter post: The industry needs to “expand its concepts of race, gender equality and inclusion in regard to its perceptions of art across the board.”
Hear, hear. And we’re thinking a viewing of Girls Trip in honor of Haddish’s incredibly Oscar-worthy performance is in order tonight.