#OSCARSSORESPONSIVE, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Gil Robertson is president of the African American Film Critics Association.
#OscarsSoWhite is in the past: Hollywood has opened its arms to diversity, forging equal roles for Blacks, Hispanics and whites alike. Sounds like a blockbuster movie theme, right? Well, the truth of it depends on whether this year’s nominations — admittedly a far cry better than recent years — were a promising preview of great opportunities to come or simply a blip on the road to same old same old.
That’s why I have mixed feelings about today’s Academy Awards nods. It was a big day in Hollywood and a glorious one for the many Black artists whose work received their industry’s highest compliment: being nominated for an Oscar. And don’t get me wrong — my colleagues and friends who were nominated are rightly thrilled. After two years of controversy, the voting members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences finally got it right.
African-American actors and creatives collectively earned a total of 18 nominations across various categories. History was made as a record total of four Black women actors were nominated, including three who are competing for Best Supporting Actress. Cinematographer Bradford Young and film editor Joi McMillon scored firsts with nominations in their respective categories, and the biggest news of all? That three Black-themed movies — Fences, Hidden Figures and Moonlight — are up for Best Picture honors.