Till director Chinonye Chukwu highlights the industry's “unabashed misogyny towards Black women”

Chinonye Chukwu
Chinonye Chukwu

Despite having several contenders, the Oscars, once again, failed to recognize the work of female directors and, more specifically, Black female directors. We’re not the only ones who noticed the names Chinonye Chukwu (Till) and Gina Prince-Bythewood ‌(The Woman King) missing from the nominees. Chukwu did too.

Posting on Instagram, Chukwu accused Hollywood of being “aggressively committed to upholding whiteness” and “unabashed misogyny towards Black women.” Neither Chuku nor her Till star Danielle Deadwyler, who played Mamie Till-Mobley, were nominated. And neither was Viola Davis for The Woman King, Keke Palmer for Nope, nor Janelle Monaé for Glass Onion. The post comes moments after the nominations were announced. It reads:

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“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.

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.”

In addition to Chukwu’s snub, the Academy exclusively nominated men for Best Director, ignoring Sarah Polley, whose Women Talking received a Best Picture nomination, Maria Schrader (She Said), and Charlotte Wells (Aftersun). Of the seven women nominees for Best Director in the Oscars’ 95-year history, only two have won: Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) and Jane Campion (The Power Of The Dog).

The Oscars have long been accused of racism and misogyny. In 2015, the hashtag and social justice campaign #OscarsSoWhite helped spotlight the lack of recognition for Black filmmakers. Changes to the voting body helped even the playing field, but yeah, it looks like this year, they went back to business as usual.

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