• Hollywood slammed the HFPA for barring Lee Isaac Chung's "Minari" from competing in the best picture category
  • Directors, actors and writers like Lulu Wang, Daniel Dae Kim, and others expressed their disappointment on social media
  • "Minari" currently holds a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) ignited a controversy by barring Lee Isaac Chung’s upcoming movie “Minari” from competing in the best picture category and announcing that the project will only be classified as a foreign-language film for the Golden Globes voters.

According to HFPA’s guidelines, the movies wanting to be nominated in the best drama or comedy/musical categories must have at least 50% dialogues in English, Variety first reported.

The announcement prompted directors, writers and actors to condemn the organization’s decision regarding Chung’s film about a Korean American family starting a farm in Arkansas in the 1980s.

Filmmaker Lulu Wang, known for directing last year’s critically-acclaimed film “The Farewell,” blasted HFPA for creating “antiquated rules that characterize Americans as only English-speaking.”

“I have not seen a more American film than ‘Minari’ this year. It’s a story about an immigrant family, in America, pursuing the American dream. We really need to change these antiquated rules that characterize Americans as only English-speaking,” Wang wrote on Twitter.

A similar controversy happened last year when Wang’s movie “The Farewell” was not allowed to compete in the best picture category. The movie picked up two nominations, including best foreign-language film, but failed to find a place in the best picture group for having dialogues in Mandarin.

Actor-producer Daniel Dae Kim also voiced his opinion on the controversial decision and opened up on how HFPA guidelines create a distraction by sidelining the Asian American stories.

“The film equivalent of being told to go back to your country when that country is actually America,” Dae Kim wrote.

Meanwhile, Simu Liu, star of the upcoming Marvel film “Shang-Chi,” said that “Minari” is an “American movie” directed by an American director that tells the story about an immigrant family fighting hard to build a life from scratch.

“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?” Liu said.

Writer-director Phil Lord issued a warning against HFPA and said filmmakers would boycott this year’s event if the organization doesn’t change its rules for “Minari.”

“HFPA will have no choice to change this call on #Minari. Filmmakers will boycott. It will be every speech. Every interview. This is a dumb decision,” Lord tweeted.

The movie, which stars Steven Yeun and Ye-ri Han in pivotal roles, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and won both the grand jury prize and the audience award in the U.S. dramatic competition.

It is one of the few movies of 2020 to have a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Stars will don designer outfits and expensive jewels at the luxury Beverly Hills hotel where the Golden Globes take place
Stars will don designer outfits and expensive jewels at the luxury Beverly Hills hotel where the Golden Globes take place AFP / Robyn BECK