A member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group of journalists who vote on the Golden Globes, is under fire Monday over a question she asked Judas and the Black Messiah star Daniel Kaluuya after he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor Sunday night. Journalist Margaret Gardiner asked Kaluuya about being directed by Regina King, who directed One Night in Miami, not Judas. Gardner later went on Twitter and insisted she did not mistake him for Leslie Odom Jr., who was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor and did star in One Night in Miami.
In a video from the Oscars press room, Gardiner is heard asking Kaluuya, "I’ve been following you since the beginning of your career, and I was wondering what it meant for you to be directed by Regina, what this means for you at this time with the world and the state that it’s in?" The British actor looked confused. "Say that question again, please?" he asked.
Daniel Kaluuya responds to a journalist who mistook him for Leslie Odom Jr. at the #Oscars and asked him: “What was it like being directed by Regina [King]?”April 26, 2021
Gardiner then repeated her question but did not reference King. "I was wondering what it meant for you to win with the world and the state that it’s in in the moment?" she said the second time. Gardiner, who is white, was widely criticized for the mistake, which comes weeks after the HFPA came under criticism for its lack of Black members. The Golden Globes also have a track record of ignoring Black creators.
Are you apologizing for confusing two Black actors? Are— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) April 26, 2021
you apologizing for supposedly asking one Black actor during his moment of triumph about another Black director who wasn't nominated this year? Is it for demanding an answer to your question about "the community?"
At first, Gardiner defended her question on Twitter. "I did not mistake you for Leslie Odom Jnr," she wrote to Kaluuya. "I'm sorry if it seemed that way. I had wanted to ask about Regina King not being nominated as a director for One Night in Miami, and your win for Judas and the Black Messiah for the community at this time." In a second tweet, she blamed sound issues for the confusion. "There was a sound issue so I dropped the part about Regina King and restated my question. What does it mean for the community at this time," she wrote. "When I [listened] to the audio, I do understand, but there was no confusion."
I am so so so sorry that Daniel and everybody thought that was what was happening. How awful. I made a mistake in what I said. I apologize to Daniel. I apologize.— margaret gardiner (@MargaretGGG) April 26, 2021
However, Gardiner later apologized in a comment to The Wrap. “I am so so so sorry,” Gardiner said. "I made a mistake in what I said. I apologize to Daniel. I apologize." In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Gardiner, who was covering the Oscars for the Sunday Times of South Africa, said she wanted to ask Kaluuya for his thoughts on King as a director and her not being nominated for an Oscar even though she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Gardiner also apologized to several people on Twitter who called her out for the mistake, but she repeatedly said she did not confuse Kaluuya for Odom. "I have reached out to a [diversity, equity, and inclusion] expert. I made a mistake in what I said. The suggestion that I confused Leslie and Daniel is hard for me to understand. I apologize," she wrote to one Twitter user.