2021 Golden Globe nominations snub Michaela Coel’s acclaimed ‘I May Destroy You’

Michaela Coel sits on the beach
Michaela Coel in an episode of “I May Destroy You.”
(Natalie Seery / HBO)

The nominations for the 2021 Golden Globe Awards were announced Wednesday morning and one of the most glaring omissions on the television side was HBO’s “I May Destroy You.”

Created, written, co-directed and executive produced by Michaela Coel, who also stars in the series, “I May Destroy You” follows celebrated millennial writer Arabella, who pieces together that she was drugged and raped on a night out with friends and has to deal with the aftermath.

The acclaimed series, which premiered in June, was praised for its interrogation of consent as well as the complexities around race, gender and sexuality. “I May Destroy You” was a fixture on numerous lists highlighting the best television of 2020, including that of Times TV critic Lorraine Ali, who wrote that the show, “as clever and fresh as it is essential,” “boldly tackles questions of consent, admitting how fraught it is to determine boundaries beforehand and then accountability after the fact.”


The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. could have nominated the show in its limited series category, but instead went with “Normal People,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Small Axe,” “The Undoing” and “Unorthodox.” The HFPA also skipped over Coel for actress in a limited series or TV movie in favor of Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”), Daisy Edgar-Jones (“Normal People”), Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”), Nicole Kidman (“The Undoing”) and Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”). Coel’s costars Weruche Opia and Paapa Essiedu, as Arabella’s best friends Terry and Kwame, were overlooked as well.

Snubs are a routine part of any award’s nominations, and the HFPA is known for its peculiar sensibilities when it comes to the projects it recognizes at the Golden Globes.

The 2020 Golden Globes nominations led to a #GlobesSoWhite backlash after the HFPA snubbed acclaimed shows such “When They See Us” and “Watchmen.”

Still, overlooking “I May Destroy You” may register as particularly egregious this year, which follows the most recent wave of Hollywood’s pledges to uplift Black voices and combat systemic racism within the entertainment industry.