US actress Danielle Deadwyler has claimed the film industry is “deeply impacted by systemic racism”, after no black women were nominated for best actress at this year’s Oscars.
Deadwyler was expected to be recognised for her performance in the drama Till.
But she missed out on a nomination, as did Viola Davis, who was also widely tipped to be in the running.
Deadwyler said there is a “trickle-down effect” of racism in society on many institutions in American life.
In Till, the actress plays the mother of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Deadwyler said: “Cinematic history is 100+ years old. I would dare say the system is deeply, deeply impacted by systemic racism that has shaped our country.
“And if we’re still dealing with systemic racism in this country that is leading us to the loss of a Tyre Nichols, that carries us from the loss of Emmett, there is a trickle-down effect of how racism impacts our lives – from the educational system to the film industry to everything, any part of quotidian American life.”
Deadwyler was widely praised for her performance in Till, and was considered one of the favourites to be nominated in the leading actress category at this year’s Academy Awards.
After she was snubbed when the nominations were announced in January, Till writer and director Chinonye Chukwu accused Hollywood of “unabashed misogyny towards Black women”.
Referring to those comments, Deadwyler told Radio 4: “Yes there is value to what [Chukwu] said, and it’s imperative that every quality of our life begin to truly, deeply interrogate and shift and rupture and radically shift the way they seek to actually be an equitable institution.”
Asked whether the Oscars or wider society needs to change, Deadwyler replied: “It’s from both ends… It’s got to come from every angle.”
The Academy has increased the number of female and black and ethnic minority voters since the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in 2015.
Deadwyler noted that very few black women had been recognised at the Oscars, and there were often “numerous decades in between” those who had.
She referred to Hattie McDaniel’s supporting actress win in 1940 and Halle Berry’s leading actress win in 2002, which remains the only victory in that category for a black woman.
“You have to begin to question why there are these gaps,” Deadwyler said. “Before I was even in consideration for anything, these are the things that I witnessed.
“So these are critical questions of, how do you begin to actually bring equity to spaces which have long been led or deeply impacted by white supremacy, ideologies, thoughts and practises?”
This year’s best actress nominees are Michelle Yeoh, Cate Blanchett, Ana De Armas, Michelle Williams and Andrea Riseborough.
British actress Riseborough scored a shock nomination following a campaign driven by a number of Hollywood A-listers.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences conducted a review into the campaign and said some tactics “caused concern”, but her nomination was not revoked.
Williams was recognised despite a debate in Hollywood over whether she should have been nominated in the supporting actress category.
No black men are nominated for best lead actor this year. Two black performers – Angela Bassett and Brian Tyree Henry – are in the running in the supporting categories. The winners will be announced on 12 March.
- ECG releases load shedding timetable for March 30 to April 7
- TikToker Ahuofe ‘Ghana Tupac’ dead
- Chief of Mujipe shot dead, son in critical condition
- Social media users react to TikToker Ahoufe’s death
- Larabanga Accident: Level 200 student dead, 3 others in critical condition
- BoG denies introduction of ¢500 coin, note
- Where’s the so-called excess capacity? – John Jinapor quizzes government over load shedding timetable
- Proposed taxes are draconian – Seth Terkper
- We will resume picketing if government fails to honour payment in 2-weeks – Pensioner bondholders
- Adom FM climaxes Ghana Month celebrations with splendid cultural durbar
- We need a hospital built purposely for Members of Parliament – Henry Quartey
- North Dayi District Assembly committed to improving livelihoods of PwDs – DCE
- High Court issues bench warrant for Savelugu MP
- Enterprise Group PLC appoints Keli Gadzekpo as Group Chairman
- We hope our colleagues will help pass the 3 tax measures – Oppong Nkrumah
- Justice system has not worked for Gyakye Quayson, Assin North constituents – Mahama
- Oscar Pistorius parole bid collapses in South Africa
- This Saturday on Newsfile
- Health officer in court for allegedly defiling two teenagers at Nkwanta
- Gbewaa College incurs over GHȻ7k debt weekly to feed teacher trainees – Principal
- GAEC partners EU, IAEA UNICRI to fight organised criminal activities
- What are we on earth for? – Henry Quartey mourns death of Kumawu MP
- Online safety: Fund seeks applicants for grant awards
- Music producer Kaywa loses mother
- The Multimedia Group’s Adom brand ends Ghana month with colourful cultural display