"Till" director Chinonye Chukwu accused the Oscars as well as the entertainment industry of being "aggressively committed to upholding whiteness" after she failed to earn a "Best Director" nomination.
The 2023 Oscar nominees for the 95th Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday morning with the usual surprises and snubs that come from the movies that are recognized.
One snub included "Till," a biographical drama about Mamie Till-Bradley and her search for justice after the murder of her 14-year-old son Emmett Till. Although the movie received critical acclaim, it failed to receive any nominations in any category.
Because of this, Chukwu said the Academy Awards are "upholding whiteness" and "perpetuating" misogyny against Black women.
"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. And yet. 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," Chukwu wrote on her Instagram account Tuesday.
This post followed past accusations that Oscar nominations lacked diversity, most notably with the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag that started in 2016. Since then, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new incentives and initiatives to promote diversity in their nominations.
In 2020, the Academy announced a new series of inclusion requirements to "encourage equitable representation on and off screen."
To qualify for a nomination, productions must submit a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form that promotes standards such as "at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors" being from a marginalized group and at least two "creative leadership positions and department heads" being filled by an underrepresented minority.
While these forms were introduced for the 2022 and 2023 awards seasons, meeting all the requirements will be necessary for films to qualify for nomination starting with the 2024 Academy Awards.
Ahead of these requirements being implemented, some insiders questioned the standards and whether they are worth the effort considering the awards show’s falling ratings numbers in recent years.
"Is there any going back? I don’t think so. I think the Oscars are dead," one producer said.
The 95th Academy Awards will be hosted by late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel and air Sunday, March 12 at 8 p.m. on ABC.