But did Lily Collins deserve the Instagram hate?
The recent nomination of Emily in Paris over I May Destroy You for a Golden Globe has people once again questioning the Golden Globes and its choices. The Netflix series Emily in Paris starring Lily Collins is about a woman who moves to Paris to start a new job at a marketing firm. The film has received mixed reviews with a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, with its cliché depiction of France and its basic storyline with nothing to say. Despite all of this it still earned itself a Golden Globe Nomination over Micheala Coel’s I May Destroy You.
I May Destroy You aired on HBO on June 7 of 2020. It was written by Micheala Coel who also starred in it as the main lead Arabella. The show is about the aftermath of a sexual assault, Coel uses her real-life experience to bring the story of Arebella to life. The show is fueled with emotion and great acting from the diverse cast. Coel did an exceptional job with the writing, directing and starring in the show. The show received a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1 out of 10 on IMDb, once again proving that it is deserving of praise and even a nomination.
Though I may come off a bit biased, as I am a fan of Micheala Coel both as a writer and as a person, you can’t deny the nomination of Emily in Paris over I May Destroy You is an odd choice. Even Deborah Copaken, a writer on Emily in Paris, is confused by the decision made by the Golden Globes. Copaken told The Guardian, “…am I excited that Emily in Paris was nominated? Yes. Of course. I have never been remotely close to seeing a Golden Globe statue up close, let alone being nominated for one. But that excitement is now unfortunately tempered by my rage over 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.” Copaken also said that she found I May Destroy You to be one of her favorite shows of 2020, loving the interesting take it had on sexual assault, and how it managed to combine that with heart, humor and pathos. Being a sexual assault survivor herself, she was able to empathize with Arabella, and we can assume other viewers were able to as well.
Emily in Paris is the brain-child of Darren Starr who wrote and produced other projects such as Sex and the City and Beverly Hills, 90210, but most of the writing is done by Deborah Copaken. Copaken brings her personal experience to the project. In the same Guardian article, she said “Like Emily, I’m both a former American expat who was based in Paris.” speaking on the critiques the show faces, Chopeken both expressed feeling hurt over it but also understanding the reason. She writes said, “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.” This does not help erase the valid criticism the show has received.
Emily in Paris being nominated for a Golden Globes is not the fault of Starr or Copaken, as the Golden Globes itself has a history of not acknowledging BIPOC films. Its other snubs for this year include Steven Yuen for Drama Actor in Minari, Spike Lee for his film, Da 5 Bloods, and Zendaya for Malcolm and Marie. They have been receiving backlash from celebrities like Ava Duvernay and Kerry Washington, which helps bring these issues to the public consciousness. Even with these facts the Golden Globes still have a lot to unpack when it comes to biases with their choices. The 2021 Golden Globes is set to air Sunday, February 28, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and will be done virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leem Osman is a first year Writing for Film, TV and Emerging Media major who loves croissants but isn’t sold on Emily in Paris. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.