Golden Globes sparks backlash over Walking Dead star Steven Yeun's new movie

Sam Warner
·4-min read
Photo credit: A24 Films
Photo credit: A24 Films

From Digital Spy

The Golden Globes has sparked a backlash after not considering Minari, starring The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun, for the best picture categories in next year's awards.

The new movie from writer/director Lee Isaac Chung follows the story of a Korean-American family who pursues the American dream in the rural US in the 1980s, and has already received huge acclaim and a number of awards.

However, according to Variety, Minari will not compete in the Best Motion Picture – Drama, or Musical or Comedy categories at the Globes. Instead, it will be considered in Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language due to the film being primarily in Korean.

Photo credit: A24 Films
Photo credit: A24 Films

However, a similar controversy arose last awards season when Lulu Wang's The Farewell was shut out for the same reason – and many, including Wang herself, have criticised the Minari decision, particularly because it tells an American story and is made by an American filmmaker.

"I have not seen a more American film than #Minari this year," Wang tweeted. "It's a story about an immigrant family, IN America, pursuing the American dream. We really need to change these antiquated rules that characterizes American as only English-speaking."

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu also hit out at the decision, saying: "Just for the record, Minari is an American movie written and directed by an American filmmaker set in America with an American lead actor and produced by an American production company.

"…And without spoiling anything it is a BEAUTIFUL story of an immigrant family trying to build a life from the ground up. What could be more American than that?"

Photo credit: A24 Films
Photo credit: A24 Films

User @angryasianman added: "Minari is the most/best American movie I saw this year. This is complete bullshit. 1. The Golden Globes, on the whole, are a joke. 2. These rules are truly terrible. 3. Clearly, nobody foresaw a scenario in which an American movie about an American family, set in America, could be performed in anything other than English."

Another user tweeted: "Golden Globes is basically saying that any immigrant story--where kids & parents speak to each other in a language other than English--is un-American."

Plenty more have expressed anger at the decision:

Yeun spoke earlier this year at the Sundance studio about how he connected with Minari's script, and that it "captured a feeling of what an immigrant experience is like".

"He captured the feeling of what a family is like, of what marriage feels like, what growing up in a religious household feels like… there are so many things that I could relate to with Isaac," the Walking Dead star said.

"I hadn't seen many tellings of stories of the other done in a way that wasn't idealising them or romanticising them or needing them to be afflicted by some external force that validates their existence."

Minari will be released in UK cinemas on April 2, 2021.

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