In 2016, she won an Oscar for best supporting actress in Fences. In 2015, the Emmys recognized her as best lead actress in the TV series How to Get Away With Murder and in 2001 she won best featured actress in the play King Hedley II.
Viola has now become the 17th EGOT winner, following the likes of Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and Rita Moreno.
Her win comes just weeks after her latest movie The Woman King was snubbed for any chance of receiving any Academy Awards – widely known as The Oscars, causing many fans to react negatively.
The film, which snagged $94 million at the box office, was released last September and explored 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 Globes, SAG, NAACP 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.”