The Viola Davis starred and produced, The Woman King, a black historical epic which portrays an all-female African warrior unit led by Davis, has been snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Set in the 19th century, the Woman King is based on a real-life story of an elite warriors’ group from the African Kingdom of Dahomey.
Unsurprisingly, the Academy has gone with big-budget movies like Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis and Avatar: The Way of the Water — a move that has angered proponents of diversity. The Woman King racked in an impressive $94 million on the Box-office and scored a 94% positive aggregate out of a total 251 critics’ reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, a popular website that rates movies on reviews published online.
Critics have pointed out some of the troubling trends following the announcement of the 2023 Oscar nominations:
- Viola Davis has been overlooked for the Best Actress category despite being recognized by the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes.
- No women have been nominated in the Best Director category.
- No Black actor has been nominated in the best actors’ categories.
- Best Actor category contains white actors only.
Rolling Stones has dubbed the snubbing of the Woman King “continued disrespect of black women,” and noted that, “it’s so disappointing to see the Oscars blatantly ignore such an excellent film and set up another ‘all-male nominee’ moment in Best Director. The snub feels even more frustrating alongside the lack of any Black nominees in the Best Actor or Actress sections including Danielle Deadwyler’s omission for her heart-breaking turn as Mamie Till in Till.”