Till director Chinonye Chukwu accuses film industry of misogyny and racism after Oscars snub

Director Chinonye Chukwu  (Getty Images for National Board)
Director Chinonye Chukwu (Getty Images for National Board)

Director Chinonye Chukwu has accused the film industry of “unabashed misogyny towards Black women” after her lauded film Till received no Oscar nominations.

The 2022 biopic follows mother Mamie Till-Bradley, and her fight for justice after her 14-year-old son Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi in 1955.

He was killed at the aged of just 14, after being accused of offending a white female shopkeeper.

(L-R) Danielle Deadwyler, Janelle Monae, and Chinonye Chukwu attending National Board Of Review 2023 Awards Gala in January (Getty Images for National Board)
(L-R) Danielle Deadwyler, Janelle Monae, and Chinonye Chukwu attending National Board Of Review 2023 Awards Gala in January (Getty Images for National Board)

Danielle Deadwyler had been tipped by some for a nomination in the Best Actress category, for her portrayal as Mamie Till-Mobley, while many thought the film itself would make the shortlist.

But when the 2023 Academy Awards shortlist was revealed on Tuesday, Till received no nominations, nor were any black actors on the best actor and actress shortlists.

In an impassioned post on Instagram on Wednesday, Ms Chukwu wrote: “We live in a world and work in industries that are so aggressively committed to upholding whiteness and perpetuating an unabashed misogyny towards Black women.

“And yet. I am forever in gratitude for the greatest lesson of my life - regardless of any challenges or obstacles, I will always have the power to cultivate my own joy, and it is this joy that will continue to be one of my greatest forms of resistance.”

Others have also expressed their disappointment at Till’s lack of nominations on social media.

“The most logical explanation for The Woman King and Till both being shut out of the Oscar nominations is that the voting body of the Academy remains overwhelmingly white,” wrote one Twitter user.

Gregory Lewis added: “Danielle Deadwyler gave one of the most heartbreaking performances in the movie #Till and didn’t even a get a nomination”.

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Ms Chukwu, whose past writing and directing credits include the 2019 film Clemency, wrote the script for Till alongside filmmaker Keith Beauchamp.

The film was among a number to be unexpectedly snubbed in this year’s Oscars nominations.

The awards have long drawn criticism for predominantly nominating white actors, with black actors making up only a small percentage of past winners.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, has been contacted for comment.

Read the Standard’s review of Till here.