Nominations for the 76th Golden Globe Awards were announced earlier this week to … mixed reviews.
There were surprise nods for Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart and Todd Phillips’ Joker, and plenty of snubs to fan the fires of Twitter with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association overlooking Lupita Nyong’o, When They See Us, and Succession’s Jeremy Strong. But there’s one unheralded performance of 2019 that we simply cannot let stand.
That’s right space nerds, Baby Yoda didn’t earn a nomination in The Best Supporting Actor category for his role on Disney+’s The Mandalorian, and it may be the most glaring, upsetting artistic commentary from an industry voting body we’ve seen since that Green Book debacle. Nay, since Crash.
Baby Yoda, the pint-sized green infant who’s stolen our hearts on Jon Favreau’s Star Wars spin-off series, has become a cultural phenomenon in just a handful of episodes. An internet icon. A tiny, meme-able deity in an oversized brown linen coat. He’s, arguably, the most valuable property Disney has ever created, and he fuels much of the action on The Mandalorian, serving as a catalyst for the bounty hunter’s defection from the Guild. He’s a tangible being, operated by puppet masters who put thought and care into every reaction — whether he’s being a naughty copilot or gulping down amphibians.
In fact, director Deborah Chow, who helmed the show’s third episode, admitted she often treated the character as just another actor on set. “I had … one of the weirdest moments I’ve ever had directing,” Chow told Vanity Fair. “I was directing Werner (Herzog) with the puppet, and Werner had just fallen in love with the baby. Werner, I think, had forgotten it wasn’t actually a live creature and started sort of…directing the baby.”
When quizzed by Variety on why Baby Yoda did not merit mention during the nominating process, spokespersons for the Golden Globes labeled the character as CGI/animated and therefore ineligible for recognition, even though, technically, he’s neither.
Look, we understand that these Hollywood voting organizations are always playing catch up when it comes to advancements in pop culture, but to besmirch the name of an innocent space bébé is a step too far. After all, what other acting nominees can say they made Warner Herzog cry because they were, and we quote, “heartbreakingly beautiful.” It sure as heck wasn’t Joaquin Phoenix!
In conclusion, the Golden Globes might be a bit of a joke this year, and this latest affront to the space puppetry community proves it.