It’s going to be a colorful Academy Awards based on all the of the nominations that were doled out to Black actors and actresses this morning. From Moonlight to Fences and even Hidden Figures, the great work of actors of color was deservedly recognized by the Academy this time around. So much for #OscarsSoWhite.
In the acting categories, Denzel Washington was nominated for best actor for Fences, Ruth Negga garnered a best actress nomination for Loving, and Mahershala Ali received a best supporting actor nomination for Moonlight. The best supporting actress category was quite Black, including Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, Noamie Harris for Moonlight and Viola Davis for Fences.
Ali told Today early this morning that he will probably be able to fully grasp his Oscar nomination “maybe in a couple of days” because he’s so flummoxed by the honor. “We did this movie with nothing, with little to no money, we just showed up, and we were there for the right reasons.”
As for Harris, she shared this gif:
Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins nabbed a nomination not only for best director, but also for best adapted screenplay alongside playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. The film as a whole received eight nominations, including nods for cinematography, original score, editing (Joi McMillon, alongside Nat Sanders, is the first Black woman to be nominated in the editing category) and best picture.
While Washington was likely hoping for recognition for his directing work instead of just his acting, Fences was acknowledged. It was nominated for best picture as well as best adapted screenplay.
As for Hidden Figures, aside from Spencer’s nomination, it similarly garnered mentions in the best picture category as well as for best adapted screenplay.
And on the documentary feature front, Ava DuVernay’s 13 and Herbert and Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro were also nominated.
Around this time last year, #OscarsSoWhite was trending due to the fact that none of the nominees in acting categories were people of color. The criticism was deserved, as it was the second year in a row it happened. Before 2015, all-White acting categories hadn’t occurred since 1998. But with all of the aforesaid nominees, along with recognition for actor Dev Patel for best supporting actor in Lion, it looks like the Academy is ready to shake things up again. The real question now is, will any of your favorites win?
Tune in on February 26 at 7 p.m. (EST) when the Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, air on ABC.