What are some of the Oscar snubs that haunt you? Off the top of my head, David Oyelowo in Selma, Idris Elba’s snub for Beasts of No Nation and Michael B. Jordan getting zero Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and Oscar nominations for Fruitvale Station (the film was also snubbed, as was director Ryan Coogler). This year, the “Oscars So White” conversation is centered around the Best Actress race. Going into the nominations announcement, every prognosticator and awards-season veteran knew that Best Actress is a two-woman race this year, a race between Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett, with Yeoh pulling ahead because she doesn’t have an Oscar already. But the three other places in the category were a surprise – most people believed Viola Davis was a shoo-in for her role in The Woman King. There was also buzz for Danielle Deadwyler, who played Mamie Till-Mobley in Till, a film directed by a Black woman, Chinonye Chukwu. After the Oscar nominations came out, Chukwu wrote this on her Instagram:
We live in a world and work in industries that are so aggressively committed to upholding whiteness and perpetuating an unabashed misogyny towards Black women.
I am forever in gratitude for the greatest lesson of my life – regardless of any challenges or obstacles, I will always have the power to cultivate my own joy, and it is this joy that will continue to be one of my greatest forms of resistance.
[From Chukwu’s IG]
She’s right. It felt so pointed and LOUD that the Oscars snubbed two Black actresses in the lead category. Arguably, Deadwyler wasn’t on every critic’s shortlist, but Viola absolutely was. And both Deadwyler and Davis should have been miles ahead of Ana de Armas. Come on. As much as people want to blame Andrea Riseborough’s surprise nomination and the wave of white women backing her, I still can’t get past Ana’s nomination for Blonde. Seriously.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.
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