‘Till’ director Chinonye Chukwu has accused the Oscars as well as the entertainment industry of “aggressively engaging in whiteness” after failing to earn a ‘Best Director’ nomination.
The 2023 Oscar nominees for the 95th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning with the usual surprises and snubs that come from recognized films.
A snub included “Till,” a biographical drama about Mamie Till-Bradley and her quest for justice after the murder of her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till. Although the film received critical acclaim, it received no nominations in any category.
Because of this, Chukwu said the Oscars “defend whiteness” and “perpetuate” misogyny against black women.
“We live in a world and work in industries that are so aggressively committed to defending whiteness and perpetuating shameless misogyny towards black women. And yet. I am eternally grateful for the greatest lesson of my life – no matter the 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 his account. Instagram Tuesday.
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This post followed past accusations that Oscar nominations lacked diversity, including the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite which began in 2016. Since then, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new incentives and initiatives to promote diversity in their appointments.
In 2020, the Academy announced a new set of inclusion requirements to “encourage fair 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 lead or significant supporting cast” from a marginalized group and the least two “creative leadership positions and department heads” to be held by an underrepresented minority.
Although these forms were introduced for the 2022 and 2023 awards seasons, it will be necessary to meet all the requirements for films to qualify for nomination from the 2024 Oscars.
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Prior to the implementation of these requirements, some insiders questioned the standards and whether they were worth it given the awards show’s declining ratings in recent years.
“Is there going back? I don’t think so. I think the Oscars are dead,” one producer said.
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The 95th Academy Awards will be hosted by late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel and airs Sunday, March 12 at 8 p.m. on ABC.