Jane Fonda highlights ‘I May Destroy You’ at Golden Globes despite snub

Fonda also gave a shout-out to 'Ma Rainey', 'Small Axe' and 'One Night in Miami'

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This year’s Golden Globe nominations were controversial the second they were announced. Filled with many snubs, specifically of Black TV and film from the past year, it was the beginning of the very public critique of the HFPA, and served as a precursor to the #TimesUpGlobes movement we are seeing now.

In a speech from last night, Jane Fonda used her moment to highlight one of the biggest snubs from the Globes this year: I May Destroy You. Acting legend Fonda, 83, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award last night. She began her acceptance speech by calling her colleagues, “a community of storytellers.”

She went on to say, “In turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling have always been essential. You see, stories have a way that can change our hearts and our minds and help us see each other in a new light — to have empathy and to recognize that for all of our diversity that we are all humans first.” 

78th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Virtual General Press Room
Jane Fonda, winner of Cecil B. deMille Award speaks during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Virtual General Press Room on February 28, 2021. (Photo by Handout/HFPA via Getty Images)

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Then, Fonda used her speech to highlight some of her favorite performances this year, including some that were snubbed by the HFPA. First, she shouted out some of the biggest Black film and TV projects from the year.

Judas and the Black Messiah, Small Axe, U.S. vs. Billie Holiday, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and One Night in Miami, and others have deepened my empathy for what being Black has meant,” she said.

Then, Fonda took a beat to honor I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel’s critically acclaimed HBO series from earlier this year. She explained, “I May Destroy You has taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way.” 

I may destroy you
(Credit: YouTube)

When the Golden Globe nominations were announced, many were quick to point out that Emily in Paris (a show with far less acclaim) was nominated over I May Destroy You. Even a writer on Emily in Paris, Deborah Copaken, wrote a piece stating I May Destroy You deserved the recognition over the Netflix show.

Later in the speech, Fonda used her time to call for change within the industry.

“Stories, they really can change people, but there’s a story that we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry: a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out. A story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made,” she said.

“So let’s all of us, including all the groups that decide who gets hired, what gets made and who gets awards, let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent, so that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard.”

Read More: Michaela Coel turned down $1M Netflix deal for ‘I May Destroy You’

Fonda even acknowledged how easy it should be to lift diverse stories and for actual change to happen can be, explaining, “I mean, doing this simply means acknowledging what’s true, being in step with the emerging diversity that’s happening because of all those who marched and fought in the past and those who’ve picked up the baton today…After all, art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way.”

Fonda finished her speech with one simple request: “So let’s be leaders.”

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