A’Ziah ‘Zola’ King, whose story and infamous Twitter thread in 2015 inspired the acclaimed thriller movie Zola, has called out the production company A24 for excluding her in the flick’s recent swarm of award recognitions.
The comedy movie Zola, tells the story of a part-time stripper who is convinced by her friend to travel to Florida to earn some serious cash. However, soon, the two find themselves in the middle of a convoluted and dangerous plot. Based on King’s story that went viral on Twitter in 2015, and David Kushner’s Rolling Stone article that expanded on King’s posts, the film credits both writers as the source material for its screenplay. However, when Zola was nominated for seven awards at the 37th Independent Spirit Awards in December, including Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay, only co-screenwriters Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris were listed.
In response, King reshared the Independent Spirit Awards’ announcement of nominees, writing: “I think it’s hilarious Zola is up for seven 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?”
“I think it’s HILARIOUS everyone else is on my television promoting and speaking on my experience as if it’s their moment and not a moment I created for us all,” she continued. “I think it’s hilarious my intellect, trauma and talent is being overshadowed and hijacked.”
I think it’s hilarious ZOLA is up for 7 awards & 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?
The most of any film this year & any film @A24 has EVER made btw. A ki https://t.co/37cUCy45yq
— Zola👑 (@_zolarmoon) January 30, 2022
According to Variety, King clarified her stance on the issue further, taking to her Instagram Story, where she said that she is explicitly calling out the studio behind Zola rather than the awards organisation. “Let’s be clear. My beef is with A24 and A24 only,” King explained. “They are full of shit. Not my peers, not the award shows, not the writers, not the director. Not the actors.”
Currently, A24 hasn’t commented on King’s statement. We will keep you posted as soon as we hear about any updates.
In the meantime, King’s situation brings up an ongoing question about Hollywood’s handling of true crime stories and the very real people behind them. For more reading on the matter, here are our thoughts on Stillwater and the sensitivity of true crime movies today.