Many are wondering why Black filmmakers and actors were snubbed by the 2023 Oscars

Women and Black filmmakers snubbed by the Oscars. (Courtesy: Unsplash/ Mirko Fabian)

The Academy Awards announced the 2023 nominations on Tuesday, but are once again under fire for failing to include acclaimed contributions by Black filmmakers and actors.

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Woman King, Chinonye Chukwu’s Till and Jordan Peele’s Nope did not receive any nominations, and many are wondering if the academy has made any progress acknowledging women and Black talent. 

Halle Berry is the only Black woman to ever win an Oscar for Best Actress for Monster’s Ball. And to this date, a Black woman has never been nominated for Best Director. 

On Jan.15, 2015, Twitter user and activist April Reign tweeted “#OscarsSoWhite they asked to touch my hair,” propelling conversations about the lack of diversity as all nominees across the 20 acting categories were white at the time. 

Disappointed movie watchers have fled to social media nearly every year since to address their distaste for the voting body (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), which have historically been predominantly white men. 

In 2016, the academy disclosed hopes of diversifying the voting body in gender, race and ethnicity. As of 2020, the board was 45 per cent women, 36 per cent from underrepresented racial communities and 49 per cent were international members from 68 countries.

Despite a new voting body, several categories continue to miss the mark. Many believe Viola Davis, leading actor in The Woman King, and Danielle Deadwyler, the star in Till, deserve recognition for their dynamic performances.

In 2020, Issa Rae shaded the academy stating “congratulations to those men,” while hosting the 2022 nomination ceremony. This was after she discovered that that year, like in 2023, no women directors were nominated in the Best Director category. 

The critiques are unsurprising as throughout the prestigious award’s 95-year history, merely seven women have been nominated for directing and only three have won the category, including Kathryn Bigelow in 2010, Chloé Zhao in 2021, and Jane Campion in 2022.

Here are a few reactions: 

The 95th Academy Awards will air on March 12. 

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