- “Till” director Chinonye Chukwu seemingly responded to the film receiving zero Oscar nominations.
- She wrote on Instagram that the industry upholds “whiteness” and perpetuates misogynoir.
- She added that she will continue to “cultivate my own joy.”
“Till” director Chinonye Chukwu criticized the entertainment industry after the movie was snubbed by the Academy Awards.
The film about the death of Emmett Till and the work of his mother Mamie Till-Mobley to get justice for her son was notably shafted when the Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday. The film has been a frontrunner this awards season, especially in the category of best actress for Danielle Deadwyler’s performance as Mamie.
Deadwyler had already received nominations for best actress from the Screen Actors Guild awards, The BAFTAs, and the Critics Choice Awards.
While Chukwu did not directly speak out about the snub, in her recent Instagram post, she appeared to be calling out the industry for the way it treats Black women.
“We live in a world and work in industries that are so aggressively committed to upholding whiteness and perpetuating an unabashed misogyny towards Black women,” Chukwu captioned a post of herself crouching next to a woman in a wheelchair.
She continued: “And yet. I am forever in gratitude for the greatest lesson of my life – regardless of any challenges or obstacles, I will always have the power to cultivate my own joy, and it is this joy that will continue to be one of my greatest forms of resistance.”
A post shared by Chinonye Chukwu (@chinonyechukwu)
This is not the first time Chukwu’s movie has been snubbed by the Academy Awards. Her previous film “Clemency” was shut out of both the Golden Globes and Oscars in 2020, despite winning the Sundance Grand Jury Prize the year before.
In 2020, Chukwu told Variety about the snub: “It’s part of the systemic oppressions that we’re all apart of and that’s internalized in many. We need to get people in positions of power who want to dismantle it, who see women of color as talented with ability, and who see our films and see us.”
She added: “We just have a long way to go. People need to create space, give space, make space for other voices to be in positions of power, and we have to support films that don’t get recognized by white-centered, patriarchal institutions.”
“Till” wasn’t the only Black-led film that was wrongfully ignored by the Academy Awards. Viola Davis was not nominated for her performance in the historical epic “The Woman King,” and, while horror movies notoriously do not receive many Oscars, fans were also disappointed that Jordan Peele’s “Nope” and the thriller “Nanny” received zero nominations.
Only two Black actors were nominated in the major categories: Angela Bassett for best supporting actress in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and Brian Tyree Henry for best supporting actor in “Causeway.”
The Oscars have a history of undervaluing actors and directors of color, leading to boycotts in the past. While this again appears to be the case for Black creatives this year, Asian creators and actors have been nominated in numerous categories.
Notably, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” swept many nominations, with Michelle Yeoh becoming the second Asian woman to ever be nominated for best actress. Her costars Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu also received nominations.
Hong Chau was nominated for best supporting actress for “The Whale,” the hit Bollywood movie “RRR” received a nomination for best original song for “Naatu Naatu,” and Domee Shi was recognized for her animated Disney film “Turning Red.”