If you listened closely to Monday morning’s announcements of the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, there was a certain snark to Issa Rae’s reaction to the Best Director nods. With no women or people of color listed, Rae joked, “Congratulations to those men,” reminding us of a long list of snubs who are hard to ignore.
Out of the 24 categories presented, just a few people of color were honored. One being Cynthia Ervio for her performance in Harriet and the team behind the critically acclaimed horror-dramedy hybrid, Parasite. Matthew Cherry earned his first Oscar nomination for the touching animated short, Hair Love, which won over the hearts of many.
Meanwhile, notable performances from Lupita Nyong’o to Eddie Murphy seemed to be totally forgotten. Playing two characters worlds apart was a feat Nyong’o accomplished with ease in the Jordan Peele-directed thriller, Us. Still, it wasn’t enough to secure a nomination. Murphy’s hilarious comeback as comedy legend Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name was a hit with fans and critics alike but hasn’t received as much love as it should in the award season. While Jennifer Lopez’s role in Hustlers earned her a Golden Globe nomination, she too was shut out from the Oscar’s race.
Other snubs are a blend of overlooked performances in general. Take Alfre Woodard and Jamie Foxx for their respected performances in Clemency and Just Mercy. Both actors stepped up to the plate in these crime dramas. We don’t know if the rich tradition of slave-driven films have daunted the Academy’s vision of seeing black actors play anything outside of it, but the actors showcased their best abilities on the big screen. We received some clarity on Foxx’s absent nomination as Variety reports that Warner Bros. studio released the film nationwide until after ballots closed last weekend. Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas’ Queen and Slim also took a lot of creative risks that didn’t work out in their favor in the awards sector.
But the shut outs weren’t limited to just black actors. Cho Yeo-jeong provided a stellar performance in Parasite that went unnoticed for a Best Actress nomination.
As far as music goes, it seemed like Beyoncè would be a shoo-in for “Sprit,” her song from The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack which she executively produced. Her flavor of R&B mixed with Afrobeat was daring and met some controversy due to the lack of variety on the project, but “Spirit” was a grandiose yet gentle song that stood out on the project.
And lastly, for the second year in a row, there were no women nominated in the best director category. Nominees included Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-ho, Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips. Keeping all of this in mind makes Rae’s subtle shade burn a bit more don’t you think?
See reactions to the snubs below.
I’ve been thinking for an hour about how there are more Scarlett Johansson nominations than people of color nominations in the acting category this year. Please make it make sense.
— Andrea González-Ramírez (@andreagonram) January 13, 2020
Sterling K. Brown
Kelvin Harrison, Jr.
— ahmad (@writtenbyahmad) January 13, 2020
Nominate Jamie Foxx in Just Mercy for anything challenge
— Nicole Gallucci (@nicolemichele5) January 13, 2020
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) January 13, 2020
The Academy dead ass looked at Lupita Nyong'o and said, "We prefer you as a slave."
— Robert Daniels (@812filmreviews) January 13, 2020
The Oscars said f*** y’all social rants.
We are nominating every white we got. Spicy white, old white, off white, eggshell, man white, some white women, and a POC to keep up appearances
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) January 13, 2020
to quote rihanna: "who is in charge of this account" https://t.co/nLt3EPID3z
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) January 13, 2020
i genuinely think not nominating j lo is rooted in racism and sexism about the kinds of performances the oscars deem worthy of praise doNOT @ me
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) January 13, 2020
No shade. Didn't hear any serious Oscar buzz for Ervio coming into the announcements. Fact that there are no other black nominations makes this one look side-eye worthy, as if they were trying to avoid another #OscarSoWhite moment. Lupita, JLo got robbed. Eddie got robbed. SMH. https://t.co/aZcI0qoa04
— Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29) January 13, 2020
I don't even have the capacity to think deeply about the #OscarNoms, I think it'd just make me angry? And it's too early.
— darian symoné harvin (@dariansymone) January 13, 2020
They really screwed up if I see people mad at the nominations for half a dozen totally different reasons.
— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) January 13, 2020