Oscars 2023: ‘Till’ Director Chinonye Chukwu Calls Out Racism

Oscars 2023: ‘Till’ Director Chinonye Chukwu Calls Out Racism

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

“We live in a world and work in industries that are deeply committed to upholding whiteness and perpetuating relentless misogyny towards Black women,” she wrote on Instagram in the caption of a photo of her with civil rights icon Myrlie Evers-Williams .

One of the biggest themes emerging from Tuesday’s Oscar nominations was the general neglect of films starring Black women, including the snub of “Till” star Danielle Deadwyler, who was expected to widespread that she would be nominated for Best Actress for her civilian performance. rights activist Mamie Till-Mobley. In addition, the 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. Those snubs include Prince-Bythewood, star and producer Viola Davis, and every actress in the film’s Black Women cast.

Across the board, 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 her first (and so far, only) Oscar nomination. to be found as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”

The Oscars have had a terrible 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 received Oscar nominations for leading roles. And in the 95-year history of the Oscars, only one Black woman has won a Best Actress Oscar: Halle Berry for the 2001 film “Monster’s Ball.”

Behind the camera, zero Black women have ever been nominated for Best Director. That shameful streak continued on Tuesday, as no woman was nominated to lead.

“Till” director Chinonye Chukwu and star Danielle Deadwyler during the film’s screening in Chicago in October.

Barry Brecheisen via Getty Images

Chukwu previously directed the acclaimed independent 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 at the end of that year.

In her post, she referenced the ways in which many Black women and other artists from underrepresented communities have created their own opportunities in spaces that have historically been shut out.

“I am forever grateful 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 this joy will be one of the my main types of resistance. ,” she wrote.

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