Real-Life Zola Calls Out A24 for Being Excluded From Awards Run

A’Ziah “Zola” King, who wrote the infamous 2015 Twitter thread that inspired A24’s 2020 film “Zola,” is now speaking out against the production company over being excluded from the film’s awards recognition.

On Sunday, King retweeted a post by Film Independent, the organization behind the Independent Spirit film awards, writing, “I think it’s hilarious ‘Zola’ is up for 7 awards and no one thought to invite me nor include me IN the writers award category. As if there would’ve been a film or a script to write if I didn’t um… write it?”

She continued: “I think its HILARIOUS everyone else is on my Television promoting & speaking on my experience as if it’s their moment and not a moment I created for us all. I think it’s hilarious my intellect, trauma and talent is being overshadowed and hijacked.”

“Zola” is based on a mostly true story by King that she wrote as a viral 148-tweet thread about her experience following a fellow stripper to Florida and the unbelievable events that followed. King’s tweets, along with a Rolling Stone article by David Kushner that clarified some of the details in the thread, are both credited as the source material for the adaption’s screenplay. When the Independent Spirit Awards released their list of nominees in December, only co-screenwriters Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris were nominated.

Advertisement

King, who is credited as one of the film’s executive producers alongside Kushner, further clarified her comments on her Instagram later Sunday, writing, “Let’s be clear. My beef is with A24 and A24 only. They are full of shit. Not my peers, not the award shows, not the writers, not the director. Not the actors.”

Harris voiced his support for King, writing that A24 has “disrespected the black women who are responsible for the content they get praised for… Know JANICZA and I have fought for u since jump and won’t stop.”

Bravo, who also directed the film, seemed to echo Harris’ sentiment on her Instagram story by reposting a photo of the cast with the caption, “This movie was dope all because of a Twitter story by [A’Ziah ‘Zola’ King].”

WM Leader has reached out to A24 for comment.

The film, which was released in theaters last June, stars Taylour Paige in the titular role and featured a cast including Riley Keough, Colman Domingo, Nicholas Braun and Ts Madison. The film received quite positive reviews after premiering at Sundance in 2020 and is now nominated for seven Independent Spirit awards, including best feature, best director and best screenplay.

Advertisement

Advertisement