Selma Director Ava DuVernay Not Nominated For An Academy Award
“We ain’t never supposed to have s***.” -Wale
No black woman has ever been nominated for a Best Director Oscar. That won’t be changing this year.
Despite its hype, previous awards nominations and breathless reviews, Selma director Ava DuVernay was not nominated for a Best Director Oscar in 2015. Who was? Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game). In other words, guys getting nominated for movies about white guys.
For those left scratching their heads, here are some further things to ponder. David Oyelowo, who earned rave reviews for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma was not nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. He was beat out by Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper (who wasn’t even nominated for Golden Globe), Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne. Five white men.
Though Selma was nominated for Best Picture, an inevitability thanks to the category allowing five to 10 nominations, it wasn’t nominated for best screenplay. The lack of nominations doesn’t bode well for a Best Picture win — the only film in history to take home the top prize without a director or acting nomination was the 1932 film Grand Hotel.
Though Selma could possibly make history in that respect, it’s doubtful. The Academy already missed its chance once.
The surprising dearth of nominations for minorities — this will be the whitest group since 1998 — comes after a banner year in 2014 for black actors and directors. The Steve McQueen-directed 12 Years a Slave took home three awards, for Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley) and Best Picture. Furthermore, lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor was at least nominated for Best Actor.
Historically, black directors don’t fare well at the Oscars. Only three black men have ever been nominated in the best director category: John Singleton for Boyz n the Hood (1991), Lee Daniels for Precious (2009) and Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave just last year. None of them won. No black person has ever won a Best Director Oscar No black person has ever won a Best Director Oscar.
This year marks the Academy’s 87th award show. Is it really believable that in 87 shows, not one black person has been deserving of a Best Director win? Of course not.
Have you seen Selma? If so, is there any way in your mind that Ava doesn’t deserve to AT LEAST be nominated for the damn thing?
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Image via Getty