March 29, 2023


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Gina Prince-Bythewood wants ‘concrete change’ after black film snubs

3 min read

Gina Prince-Bythewood addressed the lack of black representation among this year’s Oscar nominees during the red carpet for the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday evening.

“The Woman King” director penned an essay in The Hollywood Reporter after his historical drama shut itself out of the Academy Awards altogether, despite landing several trailblazing names at other awards bodies and craft institutions. Prince-Bythewood called the season “eye-opening” and added that “the Academy made a very loud statement and for me to be silent is to accept that statement.”

“We know the problems exist, but they felt amplified this year,” Prince-Bythewood said diversity Angelique Jackson, senior entertainment writer, discusses her essay on the red carpet. “The response has been really amazing. The number of people who have reached out and shared it – whole organizations are sharing it – and then going to BAFTA and people mentioning it, there’s no denying the stuff I’ve put out and people being able to see firsthand what it is. happened happened.”

“My hopes change,” continued Prince-Bythewood. “It can’t just talk about it and then forget about it, because it happens cyclically. We need concrete change.”

“The Woman King,” directed by Prince-Bythewood and starring Viola Davis, is based on true events in the 18th and 19th centuries in the African Kingdom of Dahomey. The film received critical acclaim and received nods from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Screen Actors Guild, the Critics’ Choice Association and the Golden Globes – yet it did not receive an Academy Award nomination, including one in the lead actress category for Viola Davis, who this month Initially achieved EGOT status with his Grammy win. Additionally, no black woman had ever been nominated for Best Director, and some pundits expected Prince-Bythewood to become the first.

Also mentioned in Prince-Bythewood’s essay is Chinoni Chukwu’s historical drama “Teal,” directed by Daniel Deadwiler, which tells the story of Emmett Till’s mother’s fight for justice. The film similarly received recognition at BAFTA, SAG and Critics’ Choice, but missed out on the Oscars. Deadwiller, another contender in the lead actress category, did not receive a nomination.

Meanwhile, France’s international film selection “Saint Omer”, directed by Alice Diop, did not make the cut among the final nominees. Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” received five Oscar nods, but ultimately missed out on the director and best picture categories.

Discussion of these film snubs spurs a larger conversation about the lack of black and female representation at the Oscars and in the industry more broadly.

Chukwue, Prince-Bythewood and Coogler were nominated in the directing category at the Image Awards, which honor black achievements in entertainment, alongside Antoine Fuqua (“Deliverance”) and Cassie Lemons (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”). Davis and Deadwyler received Image Award nods for Actress in a Motion Picture, along with Keke Palmer (“Alice”), Letitia Wright (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and Regina Hall (“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”). Completing the classification.

The NAACP Image Awards take place Feb. 25 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, broadcast on BET and simulcasting across the Paramount Global Network. The Oscars are scheduled for March 12.

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