Honestly, we’re not surprised.
If this entire awards season has been any indication of what to expect from this year’s Oscar nominations, then we knew that it’d be an #OscarsSoWhite situation.
The nominations for the 92nd annual Academy Awards did see recognition for a Black artist in the typical category—Best Song. ESSENCE cover girl Cynthia Erivo and her song “Stand Up” from her film, Harriet in which she starred, earned a nod. Erivo also earned a Best Actress nod for her portrayal of the icon.
Another silver lining in all of the nods was the Academy’s recognition of Matthew A. Cherry’s Hair Love, which earned a nod for Best Animated Short. The short adaptation of the popular children’s book centers on a Black father who tries to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.
Although the film was applauded for embracing natural hair, the former NFL wide receiver-turned-director told ESSENCE back in 2018 that he’s particularly proud of the animated short’s depiction of the father, Stephen.
“We really went out of our way to make sure the dad looks like any young father that you see today and get away from that stereotype of what a safe Black man looks like,” Cherry explained. “We created imagery to help combat that. I can’t recall any book [or film] that depicts a young African American male…having an arm sleeve tattoo, having locs; things like that.”