Why is Gentleman Jack missing in the GLAAD nominations?
The recent announcement of the GLAAD nominations shows the glaring omission of the Gentleman Jack TV series by HBO and BBC featuring the lesbian historical figure Anne Lister.
Alexi Melvin, writing for Grit Daily, noted this was quite a snub, given that the GLAAD Media Awards is supposed to focus on media that includes “fair, accurate and inclusive representations” of the LGBTQ community.
This snub has motivated the fans of the series to post an online petition calling for the inclusion and recognition of Gentleman Jack in the upcoming 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
Fans in an uproar over GLAAD nominations
Melvin, a fan of the Gentleman Jack show and its lead actress Suranne Jones, had recently lamented the omission of the show in the list of awards-giving bodies like the Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG.
“What has left a lot of the LGBTQ community perplexed is the outright slap in the face to Gentleman Jack,” she wrote of the GLAAD nominations leaving out Gentlemen Jack.
Because of this, the series’ fans have set up a petition on Change.org calling on GLAAD to add the show in the list of nominees for Outstanding Drama Series 2020.
The petition, which has a goal of 1,500 signatures, stated that: “It is unconscionable that GLAAD has overlooked BBC’s/HBO’s Gentleman Jack.”
“This true story from the early 19th century captures the zeitgeist of the 21st century. The main character Anne Lister is considered the ‘first modern lesbian’,” the petition said.
In the petition: the fans have declared: “Gentleman Jack deserves a nomination– it deserves an award. Ignoring this show is ignoring our history!”
GLAAD nominations of other TV shows
Melvin noted that despite Gentlemen Jack being based on a historical lesbian, it was other series that had less consistent LGBTQ representation that were nominated.
“Other drama series’ that contain significantly less consistent LGBTQ representation or simply have the occasional ‘gay storyline’ such as Star Trek Discovery and Supergirl did receive nominations,” she pointed out.
“Even BBC’s Killing Eve received a nomination, which is a series that simply throws us glimpses of what some people call ‘gay subtext’,” she added.
“I would much rather see a series that addresses both LGBTQ struggles and triumphs directly be nominated for a GLAAD award, rather than a series that, for instance, merely utilizes ‘gay subtext’,” she explained.
The fans in the petition were more harsh: “Lesser shows were nominated. Shows with peripheral LGBTQ+ characters were nominated. A show that has been accused of queer baiting has been nominated.”
Some fans have speculated that GLAAD’s oversight could be partly due to HBO’s failure to market the series and prioritizing their other series like Game of Thrones.
What do you think? Was this a mistake on GLAAD’s part? What’s your opinion on Gentleman Jack?