If you don't live under a rock, then you know Beyoncé's Black Is King was the highlight of summer 2020. From the Disney+ film's authentic African roots to its creative styling tactics, the visual album delivered on more levels than one proving once again the excellence that is Black creativity. However, despite its show-stopping debut and many odes to Black artists, the Television Academy failed to acknowledge the visual album in any category for this year's Emmy Awards nominations – specifically in the Outstanding Contemporary Hairstyling category – which sent social media into an uproar.
According to InStyle, the film's hairstyling team – comprised of Xia Charles, Safiya Warner, Kendra Garvey and Neal Farinah as lead stylist – created over 40 wigs in just a matter of six days to showcase the beauty of Blackness. The team took much inspiration from Africa's ancestral styles to create the most extraordinary and intricate looks that left many of us in awe of the hair art.
In a 2020 interview with POPSUGAR, hairstylist Kim Kimble – who also worked on the film – told the outlet that Beyoncé's notable 30 foot braided hairstyle she wore at the end of "Water" took three days and six stylists to finish. "That had to be the most challenging because we hadn't done 30 feet of braids [before], and we weren't sure how it was going to be used yet," she said. She also spoke with In The Know where she revealed how the looks created for the movie were meant to serve a more visual purpose to complement the visual album.
“African hair and beauty is so unique, but it’s so colorful and very creative and very vibrant,” she explained. “That was one of the things I was really excited about for this project, that I get to work in this creative capacity, because I know African influence is out there and so that was probably one of the most exciting parts about it.” Even with all the hard work that went into the film, its name was still nowhere to be found among the 2021 Emmy nominees and fans on Twitter took to the platform to rightfully air their grievances.
Black Is King wasn't the only surprising snub from the Television Academy this year. The nominations also left out acknowledgment of P-Valley and Snowfall, which are just a few Black-led shows that received no love this year despite having stellar seasons. However, the saving grace was seeing HBO's Lovecraft Country clean house with 18 total nominations, including Jurnee Smollett who finally snagged her first Emmy nomination alongside Pose's Mj Rodriguez who are both up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.