As for the 2018 Oscars, one thing is obviously different — they aren’t #SoWhite. You may remember the uproar last year surrounding the Oscars so white controversy; but this year, many African Americans received nominations that were well deserved.
According to Slate Magazine: “Most of the nominations that went to people of color this year were not shockers, but collectively, the number of them is a bit of a surprise.” It’s certainly a huge step for the Black community.
Three-time Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer and singer Mary J. Blige have helped pave the way for black actresses upon receiving nominations for Best Supporting Actresses for their roles in The Shape of Water and Mudbound Tuesday morning. Spencer previously won for her role in the 2011 movie, The Help and last year for her role in Hidden Figures.
Blige’s nomination seems to be a happy ending to her story – one that made the tabloids. Allegedly, Blige’s marriage was falling apart when she played the sharecropper’s wife, Florence, in Dee Rees’s film Mudbound. She reported to Independent that she “poured her pain into the performance.”
“It’s the one that people are taking me seriously about. It’s not a game for me. It’s not, ‘Give Mary J. Blige a role, and because she’s a singer, she can play games with it.’ There’s too many women that have paved the way, like Queen Latifah, and [Taraji P. Henson], and all of those really strong women. I don’t ever want to insult them by not taking the craft seriously.”
She added, “That character was a place for me to just give everything that I was dealing with to. I was dealing with my own personal pain. I was really suffering. This was the place to just rest all this pain, and rest all of this confusion, but still at the same time trying to be a strong woman.”
Jordan Peele was another nomination that was heartfelt. His reaction to getting not one—but four nominations, is certainly unforgettable. As the founder of Monkeypaw Productions, Peele became the fifth black filmmaker nominated for Best Directing for his race-based horror film Get Out. He is also the third person ever to be up for writing, directing, and best picture in the same year. As soon as he won, he tweeted:
“I just spoke to Daniel. You know when you’re on the phone trying to disguise the sound of an ugly cry? I failed at that.”
Peele also stated of his nominations: “I realize in sort of receiving this honor that it’s not all about me. For me, what makes it particularly magical is the idea that there might be young people of color who may doubt themselves and what they can do in the industry.”
“I’m getting emotional now,” he said. “I was inspired by Whoopi Goldberg winning her Oscar. And sort of paying it forward to the next generation, the idea that people could be inspired, is crazy.”
Peele highlighted how his film sprung conversation about racism and challenged people to think about it.
“People need to have help talking about these things,” he added. “Get Out is a piece of entertainment, but it’s also a cry for justice.”
The announcement of the Oscars nominations marks an exciting day in history for Black actors and actresses.
Congrats to them all!
Written By: Taylor Bennett, She’s Our Rock.com