Another Awards Show, Another Chance to Whiff on Race

Two words: "Hidden Fences."
The Golden Globes have come and gone, and this year’s ceremony saw the most diverse group of nominees in the Globes’ history. Plus, a number of the night’s biggest prizes were given to black artists like Donald Glover, Viola Davis and the team behind “Moonlight.”

But despite being mentioned numerous times over the course of the proceedings, Golden Globes darling “Hidden Fences” didn’t win a single award. Why? Because it doesn’t exist. “Hidden Fences” is actually a clumsy combination of “Hidden Figures” and “Fences,” two unrelated films whose only commonality is that its leads are African American. Somehow, red carpet reporters and onstage presenters alike managed to conflate the two. This was quite a feat, since one is about female scientists who contributed to the space program and one is definitely not (unless Denzel Washington was in a post-credits sequence we missed).

Awkward verbal hiccups aside, the 2017 Golden Globes did reflect some industry progress. And unlike last year’s Academy Awards (you know, the #OscarsSoWhite one), at least this year’s Globes voters saw fit to honor artists of color whose work wasn’t, for once, about slavery. Allow Roy Wood Jr. to explain: