2014 was a pivotal year for black actors, actresses and directors, which included “12 Years A Slave” netting nine nominations -- however things didn't exactly pan out the same way this year.
Thursday’s announcement of the 87th annual Academy Awards nominations created a significant amount of criticism as “Selma” director Ava DuVernay and lead actor David Oyelowo failed to land a nomination out of the Academy’s 24 categories.
Despite the film landing two nominations (Best Picture and Best Original Song), DuVernay’s omission from this year’s nominees underscores the Academy’s ongoing diversity gap, making it the whitest Oscars in the last 17 years. According to a 2014 Lee & Low Books infographic, Halle Berry was the only black woman to have ever scored an Academy Award for Best Actress since the Academy Awards were founded in 1927; and of the Best Director awards that have been given out, just one has ever been given to a woman.
The startling statistic, coupled with the “Selma” cast snub has caused many to react and share their thoughts. Here are some of the responses we received via social media, in addition to a few celebrity reactions:
"Typical Hollywood bigotry. No awards given to AA unless they are portraying subservient roles like maids or butlers. They also acknowledged the French victims of Charlie Hebdo, & failed to mention the 2,000 killed in the Nigerian massacre at Sunday's GG." --Beverly Mcintyre
"Not surprising. American blacks typically do not get noms unless it is a slave movie. Sad but true." --Felice Nicole
"This movie is not that great. The movie king which starred Cicely Tyson n Paul movie was Oscar worthy performances..blks getting mad over film thats mediocre at best.Paul Winfield made a better Martin Luther King" --Lynnette Lucas
"Don't use your talents for awards.. They made in awesome project. And for me I don't need to see them hold plastic and wood to prove how powerful there performance was... Great job guys...." --Lex Newman
— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) January 15, 2015
Ava DuVernay made a brilliant film about Martin Luther King and got snubbed by the Oscars. Why? http://t.co/g6wEZEAJyC
— Awkward Black Girl (@awkwardblkgrl) January 15, 2015
We deserve best director. We deserve (how David got snubbed is just...) to be best actor & actress. We deserve to be the stars. Do we not?
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) January 15, 2015
Although John + Common wrote a great closing credits song, seems odd for a film to be nominated for best film and then NOTHING else. #Selma
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) January 15, 2015
So ... the Academy includes not a single actor or actress of color in nominations, throws "Selma" in for 10-film Best Pic round. #Hollywood
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 15, 2015
— CBennett (@cobreysr) January 15, 2015
— Donald Morton (@iamdonaldmorton) January 15, 2015