It’s awards season, which means it’s also snubs season, the annual celebration of depressing omissions, obvious inclusions, and just general “What the fuck were they thinking?” ennui sweeping the entertainment industry. As the first major award-granting body to list its nominations—and thus, the first to have the chance to publicly fuck them up—the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has already come under fire for this year’s Golden Globe picks, which offered up not a single female director or screenwriter for consideration. But director Melina Matsoukas has an even more specific complaint regarding the HFPA’s treatment of her feature debut Queen & Slim: They didn’t even bother to show up and give it a chance.
Per Variety, Matsoukas—who made her name directing Grammy-winning music videos for Beyoncé and some of the other biggest names in music—wasn’t surprised when the film didn’t receive a single Golden Globe nomination, since her team had already informer her that the vast majority of HFPA critics had skipped out on three separate For Your Consideration screenings of the film. “We held three screenings for the HFPA and almost no members attended,” Matsoukas told reporters. “ It’s extremely discouraging. It’s extremely infuriating. And it just represents an archaic system that is full of people who don’t value us.”
Working from a script by Lena Waithe, Queen & Slim stars Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya as a pair of Black lovers who end up going on the run after a lethal encounter with a racist cop. Our own review was critical of the film’s style-over-substance approach, but it was, at least, a review; Matsoukas holds that the HFPA’s voting members are so out of touch with modern film-going habits that they didn’t even give themselves an opportunity to enjoy it. “For me, it’s reflective of their voting body,” the director said. “It’s not reflective of the society in which we live in or the industry as it stands today. They don’t value the stories that represent all of us, and those stories are so often disregarded and discredited, as are their filmmakers.”
The HFPA issued a statement, pointing out that its members received home screeners of the film. “The HFPA maintains that Queen & Slim was in the conversation amongst the membership,” the organization’s statement reads.