The Oscars are upon us, and this year we had Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas unveil the nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards, no less. After being called out for the lack of diversity in nominations with the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the Academy shone bright by nominating as many as nine people of color. And women led the way, scoring a record 76 nominations in all categories. In this week’s #BigStory, we laud the Academy for its diverse nomination that promises to turn 2021 into a milestone year for the awards and explore why India is yet to get its due at the prestigious ceremony that honours cinema from around the world.
The good: Women all the way!
The Academy Award nominations this year were all about ‘girl power’. In fact, Oscar 2021 nominations created history, with 70 women scoring 76 nominations in various categories. Besides this, it’s the year of many new firsts for the Academy Awards. Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell were nominated together for Best Director, making it the first time when two women have ever been nominated in the category. And this prestigious nod also made them the sixth and seventh women to have earned the honour of being nominated in the category.
Zhao also became the first woman to ever receive four nominations in a single year. She bagged herself Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture as a Producer nods.
Meanwhile, Viola Davis set a record of her own with Oscar nominations. The 55-year-old actress received her fourth Academy nomination for her performance in Ma Rainey’s ‘Black Bottom’. This nod makes her the most-nominated black actress.
The Best: #NotSoWhite this year
The Academy has been drawing a lot of flak for its acting nominations, which have, over the years, been dominated by white actors. But seems like this year, the Academy has been conscious about its choices to be #NotSoWhite! The 93rd Academy Awards are being hailed for their ‘diverse’ nominations with nine out of the 20 acting nominees being people of colour. Yuh-jung Youn and Steven Yeun (‘Minari’), Riz Ahmed (‘Sound of Metal’), Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield (‘Judas and the Black Messiah’), Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman (‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’), Leslie Odom Jr. (‘One Night in Miami’), and Andra Day (‘The United States vs Billie Holiday’) are the ones who have been nominated in the acting category. Also, ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ made history by becoming the first Best Picture nominee with all-black producers.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has, over the past few years, expanded its membership to make it more inclusive and global. In 2019, they invited 842 new members from 59 countries, of which 50 per cent were women, and 29 per cent were people of colour. “Such changes have been welcome and long overdue. The world changed in 2020 not only because of the pandemic but because finally, people across the globe (more particularly the youth), rose against the injustices against people of colour. The Black Lives Matter movement saw the largest demonstrations against this centuries-long injustice. It is only going to grow bigger from now; all of us people of colour will speak, walk, and take action against any institutions that are not prepared to change. I think most companies, organisations, institutions have received the message loud and clear,” shares Dina Dattani, a film producer, who has been associated with films like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Life of Pi’.
News Source: ETimes