Melina Matsoukas claims she was warned by members of her team that the Hollywood Foreign Press, which is comprised of around 90 international journalists who vote on the Golden Globes, had skipped the multiple screenings of “Queen & Slim” that had been set for them.
Matsoukas said in part: "We held three screenings for the HFPA and almost no members attended...For me, it’s reflective of their voting body...They don’t value the stories that represent all of us, and those stories are so often disregarded and discredited, as are their filmmakers...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."
A representative for the HPFA disputes the claim that members didn’t watch the film, saying all voters had been sent screeners and could have seen it at home. “The HFPA maintains that ‘Queen & Slim’ was in the conversation amongst the membership,” the HPFA told Variety in a statement.
Universal Pictures, which distributed the movie, declined to comment. However, sources say Universal Pictures tried to encourage members to see the film by holding three different screening and only four total HPFA journalists showed up. Universal also sent out more than 60,000 individual DVDs to various guilds including the HPFA. After a lack of interest, Universal Pictures cancelled a scheduled Globes press conference for Nov. 16, with sources saying there was no reason to ask the cast to talk about the movie since voters hadn't seen it.
Matsoukas also talked being warned about being harrassed at a HPFA fundraiser, noting a member pitched a movie to her using a "very archaic term" which offended her as a woman of color.
Matsoukas said she’s decided to speak out because she hopes the conversation will bring about change in an industry that still doesn’t represent the diversity of moviegoers. She also noted she doesn't expect the Academy award nominations to fix the wrong of the Golden Globes.