The 2023 Academy Awards nominations left many scratching their heads yesterday, as there were glaring omissions of works by Black creators that have been critically acclaimed and recognized by other mainstream awards committees.
While The Woman King was shockingly locked out of all categories, further disappointment followed when Chinonye Chukwu’s historical masterpiece and examination of a mother’s strength, TILL, was also skipped from the Oscars nomination list.
Danielle Deadwyler’s portrayal as Emmett Till’s mother Mamie Till-Mobley has garnered awards buzz since the film’s October 2022 release. Deadwyler has received nominations from the Critic’s Choice Awards, Screen Actor’s Guild awards, BAFTA and the NAACP Image Awards for her performance of Till-Mobley in the search for justice in the wake of her son’s brutal murder. According to Hollywood Reporter, many awards experts predicted that she would receive an Academy Award nomination for her breakthrough performance.
TILL writer/director Chinonye Chukwu called out the Academy’s oversight for misogynist and racist leanings, noting that the Hollywood industry is still invested in upholding whiteness as the standard.
“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,” Chukwu wrote to her nearly 10,000 Instagram followers on Tuesday after nominations were announced.
However, she remains committed to finding her own joy and validation in the achievement of her film.
“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.”