Globes and SAG Awards noms are here. What do they mean?

Four men at a bar have their photo taken.
The Black-led ensemble film “One Night in Miami” starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, left, Aldis Hodge, Eli Goree and Leslie Odom Jr., was one of four largely Black films snubbed in the Golden Globes’ best picture category.
(Amazon Studios)

Hold on a sec ... I’m putting in my order of soy garlic wings at the Chicken Hut. OK. Done. Because, you know, the Super Bowl is on Sunday, and since the Raiders won’t be playing in it again (don’t get me started), I’m going to need some serious snacks and, I don’t know, a cocktail or three to take my mind off the fact that either the bleeping Chiefs are going to win again or it’s another trophy for Tom F—ing Brady.

Also: The Oscars are less than three months away, and we’ve got some Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations to parse.

I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of the Envelope’s Friday newsletter. Welcome to this week’s edition. There’s fresh guacamole in the fridge. Pull up a (socially distanced) seat and join me.

The Golden Globes are utterly ridiculous ... and yet ...

You might look at this year’s Golden Globes nominations — the snubbing of all four Black-led ensemble films for best motion picture drama, the strange salute to James Corden’s obnoxious overacting in “The Prom,” the love for the wretched “Ratched,” the two nominations for “Music” — an apparently misguided Kate Hudson movie directed by Sia that no one has ever heard of — and think, “Who are these weirdos in the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and why do they like Ryan Murphy so much?”


Believe me, those are questions that everyone in Hollywood asks on an annual basis (especially in this claustrophobic pandemic year), even if most people already know the answers and are feigning ignorance.

For Hollywood, Globes are about marketing. The HFPA’s timing is impeccable, even if the behavior of its members isn’t. In normal times, movie studios and streamers piggyback off the nominations to promote their Oscar contenders playing in theaters, while their television counterparts hope their new programs will get a publicity boost that can carry them through the Emmys.

In other words: The Golden Globes are important because, in the awards-season ecosystem of publicity, personal résumé-building and ego gratification, they have been deemed important by a not-so-secret-handshake agreement. If you don’t think Corden’s publicist didn’t immediately rewrite his bio to read “James Corden, a Golden Globe nominee for ‘The Prom’” then you either A) have better things to think about or B) believe Corden’s nomination to be a “hate crime.” (Note: Both answers are correct!)

So having said that, let’s get into ...

Snubs and surprises of this year’s Golden Globes

The Golden Globes divides its movie categories between drama and comedy/musical, leading to a surplus of contenders and the ability for horrible movies like 2010’s “Burlesque” to promote themselves as (God help us) best picture nominees.

On the television side, unlike the Emmys, the voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. like to constantly shake things up, turning their TV nominations into a grab-bag of random slights and citations. (“Game of Thrones” never won for drama series, and one year actually lost to “The Affair.”)

So, yes, there are surprises. And omissions too, even with the excessive number of nominations. For the sake of alliteration, we’ll call these omissions “snubs,” though they’re probably not personal … unless some star declined to pose for pictures with each and every HFPA member, as is the custom with this group. Then, well, it’s still not a snub. It’s revenge.

Michaela Coel in "I May Destroy You."
Michaela Coel in her HBO series “I May Destroy You.” She earned a nod from SAG but not the HFPA.
(Laura Radford / HBO)

I was surprised by a number of things. Nothing for Michaela Coel or her excellent HBO limited series “I May Destroy You”? Huh. No acting nominations for “Minari,” not even for Yuh-Jung Youn, so good as the eccentric grandmother and a sure bet for an Oscar nod? Hmmm. “Hamilton” is a movie? If you say so. There is a film called “Music,” directed by Sia? Who knew?

I could go on. And I do in this complete list of Golden Globes “snubs” and surprises. Enjoy! Also, my talented colleagues wrote dozens of Globes-related stories, like Jen Yamato going off on the “Minari” slight and the HFPA’s outdated rules, Mary McNamara applauding the record number of women nominated for film director and Yvonne Villarreal talking with “The Crown” star Emma Corrin about her nomination and all those memes.


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SAG Awards right (some of) the Globes’ wrongs

The Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations are indeed out, providing in some cases a necessary corrective to the strange Golden Globes slate that came a day before (no mention of “The Prom” or “Music” here). “Da 5 Bloods,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “One Night in Miami,” Black-led movies that failed to make the motion picture drama cut at the Globes, all were nominated for SAG’s film ensemble award, as was “Minari,” the excellent immigrant drama that picked up just one Globe nomination.

Of course, SAG Awards voters also gave “Hillbilly Elegy” two nominations (Amy Adams and Glenn Close), so the choices weren’t beyond reproach, though you could make the case that voters simply wanted to salute these great women for trying their best under difficult circumstances.

Steven Yeun and Alan S. Kim in “Minari”
Steven Yeun and Alan S. Kim in “Minari,” nominated for three SAG Awards.

I broke down the SAG Awards nominations and looked at what the group’s slate could mean for the Oscars this year. My colleagues Josh Rottenberg and Matt Brennan sifted through the “snubs” and surprises.


I’d love to hear from you. Email me at

Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.