Oscars 2023: ‘Till’ director Chinonye Chukwu denounces racism

“Till” director Chinonye Chukwu didn’t mince words when responding to the Oscars’ failure to nominate films starring black women on Tuesday.

“We live in a world and work in industries that are so aggressively committed to defending whiteness and perpetuating blatant misogyny towards black women,” she captioned a photo of herself with civil rights icon Myrlie Evers on Instagram -Williams.

One of the biggest themes to emerge from Tuesday’s Oscar nominations was the glaring omission of films by and starring women, including the snub of “Till” star Danielle Deadwyler, who was expected to be nominated for best actress for her performance as a civilian. rights activist Mamie Till-Mobley. Additionally, the critically acclaimed historical epic “The Woman King,” directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, did not receive a single nomination in any category, not even in the technical or craft categories, despite its impressive scale and scope. . Among those snubs are Prince-Bythewood, star-producer Viola Davis and all of the film’s black female cast.

Overall, no black actors were nominated for leading roles. Among the 20 acting nominees, Angela Bassett was the only black woman nominated, for her supporting role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” 30 years after receiving her first (and so far only) nomination for the ‘Oscar as Tina Turner in “What’s Love”. It has to do with that.”

The Oscars have had an abysmal record of overlooking black stories in general, and of not nominating black women in particular. Davis and Bassett are among a handful of black women who have previously received Oscar nominations for leading roles. And in the 95-year history of the Oscars, only one black woman has won the best actress Oscar: Halle Berry for the 2001 film “Monster’s Ball.”

Behind the camera, zero black women have been nominated for Best Director. That embarrassing streak continued Tuesday, as no women were nominated for leadership.

"Until" director Chinonye Chukwu and star Danielle Deadwyler during a screening of the film in Chicago in October.
“Till” director Chinonye Chukwu and star Danielle Deadwyler during a screening of the film in Chicago in October.

Barry Brecheisen via Getty Images

Chukwu previously directed the acclaimed indie drama “Clemency,” starring Alfre Woodard. After winning the Grand Jury Prize when it premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, it was also overlooked by many awards bodies later that year.

In her post, she addressed the ways in which many black women and other artists from underrepresented communities have often had to create their own opportunities in spaces where they have historically been excluded.

“I am forever grateful for the greatest lesson of my life; regardless of any challenge or obstacle, I will always have the power to cultivate my own joy, and that joy will continue to be one of my greatest forms of resilience. .”, he wrote.

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