Last year, the only Black actor to earn an Oscar nomination was “Harriet” star Cynthia Erivo in the Best Actress category. This year, thankfully, categories across the board are seeing an increase in diverse recognition. Let’s hear one for progress!
In the year of our Lord 2021, for first time in Oscar history the Best Actor category is not majority white. Among the nominees is Chadwick Boseman, who is also the first actor of color ever to earn a posthumous Oscar nomination. Additionally, Minari” star Steven Yeun became the first Asian American ever nominated for Best Actor and “Sound of Metal” star Riz Ahmed became the first person of Pakistani descent ever nominated for any acting Oscar.
In the Best Actress category Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) grabbed nods, while Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) and LaKeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) received recognition in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Speaking of “Judas and the Black Messiah”, it’s the first movie with an all-Black producing team — Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler — to be nominated for Best Picture.
Additionally, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women nominated for best makeup and hairstyling, for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
And Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) became the first woman of color nominated for Best Director with fellow nominee Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”). We celebrate these women, but would be remiss if we didn’t bring attention to one major snub in this category — the queen Regina King!
And speaking of directors, Ava Duvernay brought attention to Black women Documentary directors who received nominations from the Academy.
Two Black women directors were nominated for Oscars today. Please celebrate Garrett Bradley and Sophia Nahli Allison today. Two wonderful women. Stellar filmmakers. Congrats on this recognition of your work, my sisters. And watch their docs: TIME and A LOVE SONG FOR LATASHA. 💕 pic.twitter.com/q5NUz6nyTk
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 15, 2021
Kudos to all of the nominees and good luck!