It is no news that the 95th Academy Awards excluded a number of reputable Black female-led movies and performers from its 2023 nominations list, causing an uproar from fans and even celebrities.
Award-winning actress Viola Davis was one of those snubbed, and she is finally voicing her thoughts about the matter, promising to support women like her who keep on being creative regardless of the circumstances.
Viola Davis Stands In Solidarity With All Artists Of Color Amid Oscars Snub
The 56-year-old producer is choosing to remain hopeful amid the Oscars’ failure to acknowledge her work in the well-received movie “The Woman King.” She is also “standing in solidarity” with the director of the 2022 film, Gina Prince-Bythewood, who criticized the Academy for disregarding women of color in the movie industry over the years.
In a new Instagram post, Davis shared a picture snippet of Prince-Bythewood’s opinion piece for The Hollywood Reporter, where she addressed Black productions like “The Woman King,” “Till,” and “Saint Omer” being left out of the 2023 nominations.
Taking to the caption, the “Doubt” actress began, “Allyship = Active support for the rights of a marginalized group without being a member of it. THIS is what’s missing.”
She continued. “Whether it be a “grassroots” campaign spearheaded by peers or multi-million industry dollars backing one, we rarely are the benefactors.” Davis further mentioned that those observant of her work would notice the Black people’s “plight” and either “contribute to it or hinder it.”
With that, she declared, “I stand in solidarity with Gina Prince-Bythewood (@gpbmadeit) and all artists of color who continue to work, create, thrive despite our environment – I will hope…always.”
The update was made in collaboration with her production company, JuVee Productions, co-founded by her husband, Julius Tennon. In the comments, Prince-Bythewood expressed appreciation to the EGOT winner, similar to others who also showed support by standing with the director.
One commenter declared their solidarity while commending “The Woman King” as “by far one of the best films of the year.” A second user believed the historical drama action movie would continue inspiring women worldwide even if the Oscars acknowledged only White male-led films.
Speaking of Prince-Bythewood’s article, it shed light on the Black filmmakers being overlooked, neither being nominated nor winning, in the 95-year history of the Oscars. GPB pointed out the tremendous success of “The Woman King,” both culturally and financially, while also insisting that the film was not snubbed but excluded completely in all categories of the awards.
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She saw the disregard as “a reflection of where the Academy stands and the consistent chasm between Black excellence and recognition,” which she believed was present not just in Hollywood but in every industry.
Although the filmmaker was grateful for the “profound experience” she had working on “The Woman King” and decided to “keep grinding,” she also wanted the industry to be better by valuing every Black filmmaker, including females.
Following the release of the nominations list, without the inclusion of Davis or “The Woman King,” The Blast reported that fans took to Twitter to rant, slamming the Academy for favoritism of White filmmakers.
One commenter felt it was “frustrating” to see the same happening yearly, referring to no Black woman being nominated in the Oscars’ Best Actress category. Another user agreed, saying, “In a category where 93/94 winners have been white, the Academy once again continued to ignore incredibly worthy performances by women of color in Best Actress.”
At the same time, a third fan stated that Halle Berry being the only woman of color to have won in the Best Actress category was “the most bizarre thing” in over ninety years.
Andrea Riseborough Gets Oscars Nomination Over ‘The Woman King’ Star
While Davis and other Black female stars, including Danielle Deadwyler for “Till,” were not nominated in the Oscars’ Best Actress category, it happened that “To Leslie” star Andrea Riseborough was nominated in a surprising move.
Riseborough had only been nominated for an Independent Spirit award and her movie only grossed $27,000 at the box office before the big Oscar nod.
Following backlash from fans and reports that the actress’ celeb buddies, including A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Edward Norton, and Kate Winslet, participated in campaigns to promote her work to Academy Voters, the Academy launched an investigation.
As reported, the Academy conducted a review of the awards regulations for online campaigning and the level of impact on the nomination of actors. Following the investigation, Riseborough’s nomination wasn’t stripped away. However, some social media and outreach campaigning tactics surrounding her nomination were addressed.