Ava Duvernay could have made history today. In a room full of press and Academy Award executors, the 2015 nominations were announced to create buzz around the continuance of award season. The directors of "Birdman" and "Boyhood" (read full list, here) received recognition for their respective films. But, in one of the most unexpected snubs of the season, Duvernay's name was left off of the list adding more concerns of race and gender politics within the industry via social media.
Besides a few critics who chose to question the historical accuracy of the depiction of Dr. King's and President Johnson's relationship, the film received praise from the toughest and most respected critics in the industry. Leading film analysts from The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Yorker were all stunned by the timely piece, calling it "stirring" and even writing, "It has all the hallmark of a trophy winner." Therefore, it makes complete sense that film was nominated for Best Picture, but completely missed the mark by overlooking the director and lead actor.
While the Oscars certainly do not have a reputation of being overtly diverse, this the first time since 2011 that most of the nominees are white. In these times of high racial tensions and increased social activism, people are taking notice to racial disparities now more than ever before. This, coupled with the proven power of social media, leaves the Oscars in a vulnerable position as audiences threaten to boycott the award show all together.
Twitter users shared their frustrations on Twitter:
— Live Revolution (@Yabsali) January 15, 2015
#boycottoscars #SelmaMovie SNUBBED! #Unacceptable #truth must be told. LIKE IT OR NOT! — Darlene Scott (@dcsaas_scott) January 15, 2015
— molly pitzer (@mollypitzer) January 15, 2015
Oscar boycott suggestion: Instead of watching the ceremony this year, spend the evening watching films by & about women that u missed in '14 — CRT (@StoryofEverest) January 15, 2015
— Ivy Callender (@icalrox) January 15, 2015
Who is the academy again-- majority old white men. Like the rest of this country. We're not represented . #boycottOscars #OscarNoms — Amy Steele (@msamysteele) January 15, 2015
To the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Duvernay and her leading man David Oyelowo were good enough for the Golden Globes category, but apparently not for the Oscars. It will be interesting to see if those who tweeted about boycotting the Oscars actually follow through on Feb. 22. If they do, Enstars will keep you updated.
"Selma" is still in theaters, check your local showtimes here.
What are your thoughts on the Oscars snub? Let us know in the comments, below.