Oscars Snub ‘The Woman King’ for Academy Award Consideration

by Xara Aziz

The nominations are in. The 95th Academy Awards – widely known as The Oscars – have announced its picks for films in the running to receive the movie industry’s most coveted award, but many are negatively reacting because a popular 2022 film did not snag any nods.

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Woman King, featuring Viola Davis, was snubbed for any chance of receiving the award, although the film snagged $94 million at the box office. The film, released last September, explores the domineering all-women colony of warfighters called the Agojie, which built a strong presence in Africa for working to protect their kingdom Dahomey in the 1800s.

As soon as the nominations were announced, scores of culture critics and fans took to social media to express their dissatisfaction. In a moving OpEd penned by entertainment writer, Shanelle Genai, she wrote that she found it hard to believe that a film that showcased such a pivotal time in world history would be ignored for Oscar consideration.  

“I find it hard to believe and somewhat offensive that a story as rich, layered, and historically complex as The Woman King was shut out in its entirety,” Genai wrote for The Root. “Cries against its glamorization of the intra-racial participation in the slave trade aside (because if you actually watched the film and didn’t let the opinions of detractors online stop you, you would’ve seen that they actually addressed this), the film encompassed so much dimension and intricate storytelling it feels like a puzzling miss for the Academy—even given its history of snubs.”

Shortly before the Academy announced nominations, Davis, who has been nominated at the Golden GlobesSAGNAACP Image, and AAFCA Awards for the same movie, said “we’re Black women, we’re driving the narrative. That was the goal and we did it.”

“I still don’t understand how Viola Divis was not nominated at the critics awards for best actress for THE WOMAN KING and how is she still not nominated at the Oscar’s make it make sense?” wrote one Twitter user.

“Academy voters have once again failed to give Black Women their flowers,” wrote Rolling Stone.

“I am so tired of the same nonsense every award season. So I wrote about it. The Academy lets Black filmmakers, Black films, and Black stories down, again, and again, and again,”

Supporting actresses and actors in the film, including Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim, Adrienne Warren and John Boyega were also shut out from being considered.

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