Following the announcement of the Oscar nominations on Jan. 24, many were outraged that both Deadwyler and Viola Davis, who earned nods at both the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes for her role in The Woman King, were excluded.
In a Jan. 24 Instagram post, Chukwu wrote, “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.”
She added that she would continue to cultivate joy, one of her “greatest forms of resistance,” regardless.
The backlash around Deadwyler’s and Davis’s snubs coincided with Andrea Riseborough’s surprise Best Actress nomination for her role in the indie film To Leslie. Riseborough’s nomination was not backed by a heavily funded campaign, as is the usual route, but rather by word of mouth among multiple high-profile figures in Hollywood, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Edward Norton, Mary McCormack, and fellow nominee Cate Blanchett.
On Jan. 27, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the awards ceremony, announced it would review the procedures around Oscar campaigns. The group announced on Jan. 31 that Riseborough would keep her nod. Riseborough did not previously respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment on the nomination and review. Yellowjackets star Christina Ricci and To Leslie costar Marc Maron came to Riseborough’s defense, while others in Hollywood supported the review.
Bad Trip star Lil Rel Howery argued the campaign procedures used for Riseborough would not work for Black actors, on a Feb. 2 episode of Vulture’s Into It podcast.
“We’ve always done that type of campaigning. Nobody cares,” Howery said.