Anya Taylor-Joy has never described herself as a woman of colour and acknowledged her white privilege
The Golden Globes Awards don’t have the best track record regarding representation, and now fans are further enraged following the announcement of the “best actress” nominees.
Anya Taylor-Joy won the Golden Globe for best actress in a limited series or TV movie for The Queen’s Gambit, which went on to win best limited series or TV movie for Netflix.
Taylor-Joy, who has Argentine ancestry and lived in Argentina for several years as a child, identifies as Latina, and she spoke about how being Argentine shaped her in a video for Netflix’s Con Todo account, posted in November.
I could listen to @anyataylorjoy say "me lo morfé" all day 🇦🇷🥰
here, she shares how her Argentine roots have shape… https://t.co/2G6ilnTy5t
Her Golden Globe win makes her the first Latina actor to win a Best Actress Golden Globe for a limited series – but in an article, Variety magazine also initially identified Taylor-Joy as a woman of colour.
The article read: “Argentinian Taylor Joy is the first woman of colour to win this category since Queen Latifah in 2008 and only the fifth woman of colour to win overall since 1982, when the category was introduced.”
The paragraph was swiftly removed and the story updated, but it was soon screengrabbed and shared on Twitter, amid outraged onlookers.
Many of Taylor-Joy’s fans pointed to a 2018 Vulture profile of the actress, in which she spoke of her Latina identity and the “weird mash-up” of growing up in Argentina before immigrating to the UK.
However, she never described herself as a woman of colour, and has acknowledged her white privilege in that although she is Latina, she doesn’t want to take roles away from non-white Latinx people.
Cyrus Cohen wrote on Twitter: “Anya Taylor-Joy can be both Latina + white! She is not a person of colour & framing her win like this is really weird of Variety to do!”
Sharing a screenshot from the inaccurate article, Saffron Maeve said: “Now why would you set my girl up like this”
Now why would you set my girl up like this https://t.co/vxXvz1zfyo https://t.co/gXtdLsZ2b3
Previously, Taylor-Joy told Vulture: “I’m aware of the fact I don’t look like a typical Latin person, and that’s not fair. I don’t want to be someone that you can just sub in for that role when I’m really white and blonde.”
Soon after the paragraph about Taylor-Joy being called a woman of colour went viral, it was removed from the article, and Variety posted an update acknowledging that Taylor-Joy identifies as a white Latina.
The incident exposes the complexities of talking about race and ethnicity, as often one identification doesn’t automatically link to another.
Of course, it also shows how far the Golden Globes still have to go, in order to be truly representative of society.