‘Emily In Paris’ Reportedly Flew Golden Globes Voters To France
The scandal puts in question the legitimacy of the series’ Golden Globes nominations.
When the 2021 Golden Globes nominations came out earlier this month, there was one name among the contenders that left viewers especially confused: “Emily In Paris,” Darren Star’s Netflix chronicles of an ingénue marketing executive who moves to the French capital had garnered not one, but two nods, including for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. How had the controversial and meme-ridden production achieved the feat while one of the most acclaimed shows of 2020, “I May Destroy You,” was completely snubbed out of the list remained a complete mystery… until now.
A new Los Angeles Times report points to some of the possible reasons behind the nominations, which includes potential bribery by producers of the show. According to the Times’ investigation, over 30 Hollywood Foreign Press Association members flew to France in 2019 to visit the set of “Emily In Paris,” courtesy of Paramount Network (who was behind the series before Netflix bought it in 2020). The guests were accommodated at the extravagant Peninsula Paris Hotel, where the cheapest rooms cost about $1,400 a night and which is located just a five-minute walk away from the Arc de Triomphe.
The group also reportedly participated in a news conference and lunch at the Musée des Arts Forains, a private institution known for its “amusement rides dating to 1850,” which also served as a backdrop for the series. One anonymous HFPA member who joined the trip told the paper they were treated “like kings and queens” during their stay.
The exposé puts in question the legitimacy of the nominations, especially considering the immense criticism “Emily In Paris” received for, among other elements, its stereotypical (and at times ignorant) depiction of French people and culture. “There was a real backlash and rightly so — that show doesn’t belong on any best of 2020 list,” another HFPA member who didn’t attend the press tour told the Times. “It’s an example of why many of us say we need change. If we continue to do this, we invite criticism and derision.”
Even professionals involved in the series were stunned by the nominations. In an op-ed for The Guardian, Deborah Copaken, one of the show’s writers, expressed her astonishment that a production “about a white American selling luxury whiteness, in a pre-pandemic Paris scrubbed free of its vibrant African and Muslim communities” received a nod over Michaela Coel’s gut-wrenching work about rape and race and class relations. “That show [‘I May Destroy You’] deserves to win all the awards.”
Is it that surprising that voters presented with a lavish trip to one of the most famous cities in the world would return the favor? According to another source heard by the Times, not really: they said HFPA members “live for the events, rather than for the love of movies.” Which, when you think about it, isn’t that different from Emily’s philosophy.