Ann Sarnoff, the head of WarnerMedia’s studios and networks, congratulated the company’s staff on their 15 Golden Globe nominations, while also arguing in a memo that more needs to be done to promote and celebrate stories from underrepresented artists.
“As we celebrate our incredibly deserving nominees this morning, we must also acknowledge that more work needs to be done so stories from all creators and actors are equitably included and properly recognized,” Sarnoff wrote in the memo obtained by Variety.
The WarnerMedia executive made a point of noting that several of the company’s shows from Black artists were either ignored by Globes voters or shut out of key categories.
“We honor the casts of ‘Judas and the Black Messiah,’ ‘I May Destroy You’ and ‘Lovecraft Country’ for their incomparable individual and ensemble performances this past year,” Sarnoff wrote.
“Lovecraft Country,” a horror series from HBO that unfolds in the segregated South, was nominated for best TV drama, but stars Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors did not earn nominations.
“Judas and the Black Messiah,” a historical drama about Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, earned Daniel Kaluuya a best supporting actor nod for his turn as the civil rights icon. It also nabbed a nomination for best original song for ““Fight For You.” However, the film did not earn a best drama nomination, and director Shaka King as well as stars Lakeith Stanfield and Dominique Fishback were overlooked.
“I May Destroy You,” an HBO series that deals with sexual assault and earned plaudits for featuring a largely Black British cast, was completely shut out despite earning critical raves. Many awards watchers were stunned that Michaela Coel, who wrote, produced, directed and starred in the show, was snubbed by the Globes.
WarnerMedia had a strong showing when it came to many of its programs and movies, with several of its arms such as HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros. TV and Warner Bros. pictures earning multiple nominations for the likes of “The Flight Attendant,” “Ted Lasso,” “The Undoing” and “The Little Things.”
“This industry recognition is a testament to our commitment to bring the world’s best storytelling to audiences everywhere. It’s also a celebration of the creativity, commitment and hard work of our creative partners and the content teams across the company,” Sarnoff wrote.
She went on to commend her team for the achievements during a global pandemic that upended Hollywood: “And this was all done in the face of unprecedented circumstances that impacted every part of our business.”