Director Chinonye Chukwu has accused the film industry of “blasphemous misogyny towards Black women” after her acclaimed film Till did not receive an Oscar nomination.
The 2022 biopic is about mother Mamie Till-Bradley and her struggle for justice after her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till, was lynched in Mississippi in 1955.
A white woman was murdered at just 14 after being accused of harassing shopkeepers.
Danielle Deadwyler was tipped off by some for a Best Actress nomination for her role as Mamie Till-Mobley, although many thought the film would be shortlisted.
But when the 2023 Academy Awards shortlist was announced on Tuesday, Till received no nominations, and no black actors were included in the best actor and actress shortlists.
In a fiery post on Instagram on Wednesday, Ms. Chukwu wrote: “We live and work in industries that are so aggressively committed to preserving Whiteness and perpetuating shameless misogyny against Black women.
“And yet. I am forever grateful for the greatest lesson of my life – no matter any challenge or obstacle, I will always have the strength to develop my own joy, and it is that joy that will continue to be one of my greatest forms of resistance.”
Others expressed disappointment that Till was not nominated on social media.
“The most logical explanation for why The Woman King and Till were both excluded from the Oscar nominations is that the Academy’s voting body remained overwhelmingly white,” wrote one Twitter user.
Gregory Lewis added: “Danielle Deadwyler gave one of the most heartbreaking performances in #Till and it didn’t even get a nomination.”
Chukwu, whose past writing and direction includes the 2019 movie Clemency, co-wrote Till with filmmaker Keith Beauchamp.
The film was among the unexpectedly underrated numbers in this year’s Oscar nominations.
The awards have long drawn criticism for nominating predominantly white actors, with black actors making up only a small percentage of past winners.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, has been contacted for comment.
Read Standard’s review of Till here.