Ava DuVernay on her Oscar snub: ‘There is no black woman I can call and ask’

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Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma, has a new interview with Entertainment Weekly about her Oscar snub for the Best Director Oscar. As I mentioned earlier this week, I saw Selma over the weekend and I thought she was more than deserving. Selma was a really well-executed film full of strong performances. Its biggest faults were with two pieces of casting: Tim Roth as George Wallace and Tom Wilkinson as LBJ. Neither delivered, although Roth made his Wallace sort of funny and like a sleazy pragmatist more than a staunch racist, which was an interesting choice. But otherwise, Selma was a great movie and David Oyelowo should have been nominated for Best Actor and Ava should have been a major contender for Best Director. This EW piece is interesting though – you can tell Ava is a former publicist, because she gets other people to do the heavy lifting on accusations of racism within the Academy. It’s worth reading the whole story. Some highlights:

The idea of a black woman being nominated for Best Director: “It would be lovely. When it happens to whomever it happens to, it will certainly have meaning.” But it would not be her. “This is not me being humble, either,” she said. “It’s math.”

The directors’ branch of the Academy: It’s 91 percent male, and 90 percent white. That alone wouldn’t prevent a DuVernay nomination, of course, but her lack of personal and professional connections with those directors would, she thought. “I know not one person in my branch,” she said.

Alfre Woodard on Selma’s snubs: “Oh, my, did we miss it this year. But people can vote for whatever they want, and half of the things I voted for weren’t recognized. I’m used to that. I live in America—and I’m a woman of color.”

Ava didn’t want to compromise: “It was important to me that my voice, my vision, stayed intact. Because if this movie failed, then it did so based on what I truly liked rather than on some compromise someone got me to make. I would have never forgiven myself because I knew there was not going to be another chance.”

Fighting back against charges that she misrepresented LBJ’s position, Ava tweeted: “Notion that Selma was LBJ’s idea is jaw dropping and offensive to [civil rights groups] and black citizens who made it so.” An anonymous Academy member told EW: “[The filmmakers] misrepresented history with the way LBJ was presented. They had an obligation to present it correctly and they didn’t.”

Another Academy member told EW: “The Academy loves to be liberal. But they like to be nice and comfortably liberal.”

*Ava actively drew a comparison between the events in Ferguson and NYC (Eric Garner’s death), and reporters did as well, which apparently “rankled” the Academy. An Academy member told EW: “It’s almost like because she is African-American, we should have made her one of the nominees. I think that’s racist. Look at what we did last year with 12 Years.”

At the end of the day, Ava still broke through one glass ceiling: “I’ve never been in this place before. There is no precedent for it and there is no black woman I can call and ask.” So she has relied on the closest person to her situation: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), the sole woman to win an Oscar for directing, who advised her, after moderating a Selma screening Q&A with DuVernay, to stay focused and keep following her own path. “I’m trying to be clear and follow my own footsteps because there is no black woman’s footsteps to follow,” she says.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

Before I read this piece, I gave Academy members the benefit of the doubt and I still believed that if the Selma screeners had gone out earlier and if the promotion for the film had started up earlier, things would be different. But after reading those quotes from anonymous Academy members… nope. Complacent white privilege is all over the Academy. This film would have had a much different reception if LBJ had been cast as the white savior, or if the film had been directed by a white man, or if Ava hadn’t been perceived as (yes, I’ll say it) so “uppity”. That’s the subtext of those anonymous quotes from the Academy: how dare this black woman come into our exclusive club and dare to tell us that there’s still a need for civil disobedience, that there are still much-needed conversations about race to be had, that our little club is not all that diverse.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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162 Responses to “Ava DuVernay on her Oscar snub: ‘There is no black woman I can call and ask’”

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  1. Tiffany27 says:

    So since 12YAS won last year, films about black people are pretty much done for the decade in the eyes of the Academy. Looking forward to the 2020 Oscars!

    • denisemich says:

      A lot of good films were snubbed and good directors.
      Black actors have been nominated and won for the last decade. It is not like this film wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. The film is relevant in our present climate. However, that doesn’t mean that the director did the best job or the actors were the best. I think the parade for this film is not going to help it win.
      Remember the Color Purple.

      I think if they all shut up it would probably win best film but that is probably out now.

      Also, Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated about 3 years ago for best director but his film still won.

      • Ann says:

        But Argo wasn’t a good film, it was just the least controversial and Affleck is popular in Hollywood so they made sure he at least won Best Picture.
        Oh by the way, Argo was also inaccurate and Affleck was playing a Latino.
        Sure there’s no whitewashing in Hollywood.

      • Mmhmm says:

        Thank you. Sorry, Selma was good but it was not as absolutely amazing as people are saying I don’t know which director of actor I would have taken out to put in Selma’s. Maybe it got snubbed because it’s *gasp* not as good as the others nominated. I agree there is a race problem in Hollywood, but I’m tired of this snub being a huge racial thing and I’m tired of even done people saying they should have been nominated just because it would have been the first black female nominated. The movie just wasn’t that great, a lot of it was paint by numbers IMO. Sorry, I’m bitchy today.

      • Mmhmm says:

        Ann: but many movies aren’t accurate. Look at The Butler: they completely MADE up the story of the older son, made up the son dying in war, and made up a bunch of other crap, and yet people didn’t get offended by that. Also, Argo was an excellent movie

      • Dree says:

        Totally disagree, Argo was nowhere near the best movie in 2012. It was an ok movie it won because it was the least controversial and Ben Affleck was the golden boy that year. So much of it relies on politics and who runs the best campaign, who appeals to the academy voters who are predominately old, male and white.

      • Crocuta says:

        @Ann and @Mmhmm

        When at this year’s Oscars, The Imitation Game is very inaccurate too. The Guardian, Slate and many other magazines published fact vs. fiction articles and it’s painful to read. They even made Turing act somewhat autistic, which he wasn’t. What the? They made Turing into someone Cumberbatch could play for the Oscars instead of making Cumberbatch play Turing. And as for the story, the skeleton is more or less OK but the details are often made up.

        All to, I presume, improve the Oscar chances? Because Turing’s real story was not tragic enough for the film makers or what were they trying to say?

      • gilmore says:

        So that means we should be satisfied with the little bread crumbs the academy gives poc? Oh they’re so progressive because they give a few brown girls and boys a statue once every other, other, other year! Why aren’t you satisfied1!11 Mediocre films directed by white men and acted by white actors get nominated all the time. Come on, with that 12 yas comment from that academy memeber the issue is often obvious here.

      • LAK says:

        If you want accuracy in a film, watch a documentary. Films are for entertainment. Artistic license is always taken, no matter how accurate a film pretends to be.

      • Crocuta says:

        @LAK: Well, there’s truth to that, but I expect *a biography* to be a bit more right about the portrayal of *the protagonist*. Surely around him and with other characters some changes have to be made to dramatize the story more; but making the star autistic when he wasn’t? That’s a big jump for said person’s biography.

      • MaiGirl says:

        Sure! Go ahead and ignore the comments completely confirming our worst fears of the Academy’s old white boy’s club and throw up another straw man! Use logic that maintains white privilege and miss the point completely!

        Isn’t it FUN!!!

      • Grant says:

        Excuse me, Argo was a fantastic movie.

      • LAK says:

        Crocuta: where have you been? Hollywood has taken artistic licence since the dawn of Hollywood.

        I’d never take any biopic or ‘based on a true story’ film as the truth. It’s all poetic licence. I could list upto 100 titles of film of egregious inaccuracies, but we’d be here all day. TIG is simply the latest in a long line of such films.

      • Crocuta says:

        Artistic licence? All the time. Such a major change of the character the bio is about and that the movie is so heavily praised? Much harder to find. Care to point some to me? You don’t need to give me 100 titles you *could* list, 10 will suffice. And I’m not being sarcastic, I’m genuinely interested how can that go through well and if it really happens as regularly as you claim. Again: I am not surprised that the movies do that, but I feel they should not be praised if they cannot do justice to what actually happened or how the person really was.

        (That’s why I’m angry about it. 8 major Oscar nominations. If it was just some biography I’d just dismiss it as “ah well”. But such high praise is hard to swallow.)

    • katy says:

      Apparently, they like movies where blacks are portrayed as slaves more than seeing blacks fighting for equality. Must take them back to a more comfortable era for themselves. They threw blacks a bone last year, can’t they just be grateful for that??

      I’m actually really appalled and embarrassed that people still feel like this.

    • Say What!? says:

      12YAS also had a white dude ride in at the end and act as the hero. People literally crapped their pants when the heard LBJ wasn’t treated like a God in Selma.

  2. LAK says:

    What I find astonishing is that she apparently doesn’t know anybody in her branch of the Academy.

    Even if you put aside the various issues around her snub, it’s incredibly short-sighted of her not to network like crazy with her branch.

    The academy likes to nominate and vote for their friends. This is why Harvey wins every time.

    And someone needs to give her Spike Lee, Antoine Faqua, Jon Singleton, Amma Assante, Effie Brown’s numbers because clearly she’s not doing any lifting herself on the networking front.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      I think it’s because she makes tiny indie films

      • atrain says:

        She was a publicist and worked on many major movies. The Help, Dreamgirls, Madagascar 2, etc. How has she worked on all of these films, and yet knows no key players?

      • LAK says:

        Greenwinnie: size of film is irrelevant once you commit to an Oscar run.

        Also, what ATRAIN said.

    • Bridget says:

      Are those two ladies AMPAS members?

      I’m not too shocked she doesn’t know other members of the Directors branch. She’s still a pretty new director and a lot of networking happens on the festival/awards circuits. Now what’ll be interesting is if she remedies that, or if she chooses not to network in the future.

    • Algernon says:

      “it’s incredibly short-sighted of her not to network like crazy with her branch. ”

      How? She’s not a member of the Directors’ Guild, so she’s not getting invited to their members-only events/screenings. I believe there’s 400-something directors in the AMPAS branch, and like 98% of them are DGA. So if you can’t get invited into the DGA stuff, how are you supposed to access those people? It’s not as easy as people think. The reason guild/AMPAS screenings and mixers are such a big part of Oscar campaigning is because it’s often the only time a potential nominee has to network like that, especially for a newbie who hasn’t been invited into the guild yet.

      As Kaiser mentioned, Selma whiffed with their screeners, not getting them out in time for the guild nominations. But they did have a couple guild/AMPAS-invite screenings in LA and they weren’t well attended. So even when DuVernay/Selma gave them the chance to see the movie and have some questions answered and meet DuVernay, they didn’t participate. She has been deliberately shut out of the process.

      • LAK says:

        Algernon: sorry, but you are wrong.

        In all the years that she’s worked as a publicist on several films, she failed to befriend any guild members?

        These people could have done the work for her in terms of letting their other friends watch her film and or vote for her.

        Please note that i’m not sweeping aside any other issues that led to the snub, but the networking thing is a big fat fail on her part and that’s on her.

        And you know how I know this? I’ve watched to friends network to Oscar glory. None of it would have been possible if they relied on the few screenings organised by the DGA/Academy hoping that their members would turn up and possibly vote for them.

        The minute she decided to become a director, she should have started networking like crazy as it seems she didn’t bother in all her years as a publicist.

      • denisemich says:

        She may have networked her ass off. However, the problem is she is outside the circle. She hasn’t consistently done good or great films in the past. There is no precedent that she will do another great film. Why would directors vote for her over a friend that consistently does good work and made a great film?

        In short I think she networked, I don’t think that makes people your friend. Not friend enough to vote for you over
        Richard Linklater and Iñárritu who created different ways to conceive of movie making or Bennett Miller and Wes Anderson who consistently makes good movies.

      • LAK says:

        Denisemich: that’s a very good point, BUT! She’s setting up a stall with a stand that she knows no one in the director’s guild. She goes further in saying the members are all of a type. That emphasises the point that she knows no one. She had Oprah in her corner. Pretty sure Oprah knows a few people in the director’s guild even if Ava does not.

        As you’ve pointed out, some of those nominations were potentially influenced by friendship, so why not hers?

        As I said earlier, the academy votes for their friends. The minute she decided to become a director, she should have befriended them.

        All of this doesn’t negate reasons why her film was snubbed, but it helps if you decide to enter a popularity contest that isn’t about talent no matter its billing.

      • Bridget says:

        @LAK: Oprah is a big name, but one thing that’s become clear over the years is that she has utterly no sway over the Academy. She’s wanted recognition herself badly, and it just doesn’t happen.

        And you’re correct, Ava has decided to make her point, and as her background is as a publicist one could easily assume that it is a deliberate, intentional point she’s making about the Directors arm.

      • Algernon says:

        @LAK

        I started out as a publicist, and I encounter members of various guilds, including the DGA, all the time. I never had a chance to network with them in a meaningful way. Maybe DuVernay did, but I doubt it. Being a publicist who’s working a room is not the same thing as being able to work the room.

        ETA: You’re talking about “befriending” people like it’s just a matter of walking up to them and starting a conversation. Even if you’re at the same event/party, you can’t just walk up to these people. It’s not even a social graces thing (although that’s part of it), it’s often literal as there will be security preventing people from getting close to the more famous faces in the room. It’s just not as easy as “making friends” like you’re trying to make it sound.

        If anything, starting in publicity *hurt* DuVernay because she wasn’t out working for directors as a PA/AD. That’s how you network with directors, you get jobs on their sets. But her job was with studios/publicity firms. Her contact was limited to marketing, and most directors *hate* marketing. It doesn’t create a warm environment to nurture mentorship.

      • LAK says:

        Algernon: do you know how many events in the year give opportunities to meet these people? And yes, to simply walk upto them and introduce yourself as a professional.

        We aren’t talking crazy fangirling or being rude whilst introducing yourself.

        As Bridget pointed out, festivals are easier than straight up meet and greets if she won’t do those so how about AFM and the Los Angeles film festivals? There is sundance, Tribeca. These are director friendly festivals.

        If she can get Oprah in her corner, she can certainly get others on her side.

        Bridget: I quite agree. In as much as I am namechecking Oprah, I think the academy doesn’t like her and will deliberately snub any project she is associated with. However, her media dominance, good or bad, remains unchecked, not to mention her deep pockets. The problem as we discussed on a different thread is that Oprah, as well as the aforementioned problem, never truly promotes her projects beyond herself. It’s always about her, and I feel that hurts her projects.

      • denisemich says:

        ……

      • Bridget says:

        LAK: The Academy gets persnickety whenever someone so blatantly wants an Oscar (see also DiCaprio, Leonardo and Aniston, Jennifer)and Oprah wants their approval so badly. And you are correct in that she dominates the press for her projects. She has money, but she’s simply not the person that you go to for leverage within the Academy.

        The Directors branch strikes me as one of the most insular groups within the Academy (and that says a lot). It’s one of the most prestigious, and I think it’s no coincidence that the first woman nominated for a Directing Oscar was Sofia Coppola, who is extremely socially connected in that group. There are *some* networking opportunities for a newcomer like Ava, but I think that’s something that comes over time.

    • meh says:

      Yeah it’s incredibly short-sighted for a woman of color not to forcibly inject herself into an all-white old boys club. What’s wrong with her??

    • Say What!? says:

      And yet when Aniston worked the circuit people freaked the hell out as if working the circuit meant her SAG, Critics Choice and GG nominations were meaningless.

  3. Anna says:

    And Ava specifically said she didn’t want it to be a white saviour film which seems to automatically disqualify it from being nominated for more than a few awards. I’m glad she stuck to her vision. It’s kind of funny how they seem so upset with how LBJ was portrayed because it wasn’t “accurate” but don’t even bat an eyelash about the dozens of other films that are nominated for awards that aren’t accurate (American Sniper)

    A few days ago I commented on a story on here how journalists theorized that Selma had barely been nominated because the Academy felt like they did “enough” last year with 12 years and now it’s pretty much been confirmed.
    I wonder how long it will take for a black director to win an Oscar for directing.

    • TheOnlyDee says:

      Foxcatcher and The Imitation Game also have inaccuracies. Practically any movie based on a true story has inaccuracies.

    • Dawn says:

      Well I think LBJ was portrayed to be against MLK when in reality they were more in partnership. MLK took it to the people and LBJ pushed it through congress, the senate and the sc. He also stopped Hoover from pulling all those dirty little tricks that the FBI was using. In short LBJ was not the enemy that she portrayed him to be and the reality is this one President did more for civil rights than all the marches did because he changed law and that too me is a pretty big deal.

      • Anna says:

        @dawn he wouldn’t have changed any laws if it wasn’t for the marches lol I find it laughable that you even made that statement. and I would say JFK did way more for civil rights and black people than LBJ ever did. btw LBJ wasn’t even that great of a guy anyway, look up the opinions and attitudes he had towards black people for years.

      • Shazza says:

        I don’t know what movie you were watching but ‘Selma’ didn’t portray LBJ as an enemy. He was obviously on good terms with MLK but he told him (in the film) that he had other things on his plate to deal with besides civil rights. That he WOULD get to it but MLK talked about the urgency of now. Btw, I disagree with you, Kaiser, I thought Roth and Wilkinson were very good. Btw, did you know that Steven Spielberg owns the rights to MLK’s speeches? Why do I think when (and if) he does his MLK movie, it will be nominated for EVERYTHING?

      • Michonne says:

        I partially agree Dawn. LBJ wasn’t a nice guy and he certainly said terrible things, and I also think he did not back Civil Rights out of the goodness of his heart- he made a calculation he needed to politically. But at the time portrayed by the movie, he was in partnership with MLK and not trying to discredit or destroy him. I think that’s a huge problem in the movie. He wasn’t the great white savior or any savior at all, the heroes were those who fought for Civil Rights, but he was a partner and a piece of the story. Give credit where credit is due.

    • gentopolis says:

      As I read this I become increasingly upset by what appear to be layers of distortion, over and over again. Those in DuVernay’s “corner” acknowledge there’s a dispute going on, but then they mischaracterize the nature of the dispute to enhance their own position.

      The problem noted by people with the representation of LBJ isn’t really based on just “accuracy”. To say that, falsely bolsters DuVernay’s position. It’s almost like a lawyer’s argument designed to minimize your opposition. The problem with the way LBJ is depicted is that he’s made to come off as some one who preferred to stand in the way of civil rights, rather than being a conduit towards the adoption of the civil rights movement and associated legislation. Frankly, LBJ was a better friend to the cause of civil rights in this country than any president before or after. No other politician has matched his achievements in that regard. You can speculate what he may or may not have really felt inside about that movement, but in the end its his achievements that count.

      Were he to have been a purely fictional character, making him out to be a nemesis of the movement might not be so bad, though it would have come off as something of a dramatized cliche; ‘an evil white politician trying to hold back the rights of the black man’. But he isn’t a fictional character, and the representation was unfair to his reputation and accomplishments. That’s where its disturbing. There’s all kinds of ways to be inaccurate or to take dramatic license, but distorting one’s reputation wasn’t a particularly reasonable one.

      DuVernay is still fairly new at her directing work, and certainly hasn’t been at the front of other big budget films. There are plenty of great directors who never won an Oscar. Hitchcock and Paul Mazursky come to mind. It took Scorsese years, and a lot of great films, to even be nominated. Persisting in making out like something sinister is at play with DuVernay and this year’s nominations, feels more and more like sour grapes and a mean-spirited demand that things have to work out someone’s way whether its merited or not. No one ever said the Oscar nominations were to be an exercise in fairness. They rarely are. Demanding they must work out a certain way, and that way is the fair way according to DuVernay, is just plain nonsense.

  4. liab23 says:

    why does it have to be about race all the time?

    maybe the movie wasn’t good enough? ever thought of that? or is that to hard to comprehend ?

    • Anna says:

      @liab23 I’m assuming that your comment is a joke

    • mazzie says:

      Actually, no, it is hard to comprehend.

      1. Her movie is nominated in the best movie category. A movie doesn’t spring fully formed from the forehead (or thigh) of Zeus.

      2. Let’s ignore the systemic racism of Hollywood, shall we? Oh wait, we can’t.

      3. Let’s ignore the systemic sexism of Hollywood, shall we? Oh wait, we can’t.

      4. Let ignore the systemic economic issues that face people of colour, Oh wait…

      But it seems you can.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Pretty sure it’s about race because that’s the subtext of the anonymous comments–not because “it has to be about race every time.”

    • Biki says:

      I am from the country in which almost 99,99% of citiziens has never seen the black person in person except on tv but no single person ever made, at least to my knowledge, any racist comment, even 30 years ago my parents were baying to me black dolls so that is why I can not understand that in USA is racist view on the movie. Personally I hate this biopic movies or transformation movies where actors transforms, I need fresh topics to be covered. As I could read here and on other boards, producers of the Selma failed to deliver in time dvd copies to the voters.

      Personally, I would never ever reject Common 😘😘😘.

      • minime says:

        I don’t want to be rude but I have a hard time to believe that there is a country where there is no racism at all. Unfortunately racism, sexism and oder -ism’s are very much worldwide distributed. People might not say something that actively portrays them as racists or sexists but they act in that way, by per instance diminishing the capacities or patronizing the achievements of the affected people, or even by setting very low expectations. Sometimes this is also covered by “false pity”. I find it very dangerous to not be aware of this social process that unfortunately still needs a lot of work to be done to change. I say this as a person from a country were people vulgarly say that there is no racism at all. Unfortunately that is not true.

    • k says:

      liab23: errr…read then re read mazzie’s comments, handily summarized for you.

    • Tanguerita says:

      Biased much? This movie has a 99% positive reviews on RT (100 % among the top critics) – do you know how rare it happens? So don’t try and whitewash the situation.

    • lizzie says:

      because it *is* about race! and it is also about sexism. open your eyes and look around you at what is happening right now…50 years after MLK was assassinated for confronting the very issues that are still going on!

    • no way says:

      Well two members said some pretty stupid comments that means race is the reason she didn’t get nominated. Maybe, but remember Martin Scorscese didn’t win until 2007, and Spielberg took forever to get nominated and win. Affleck’s Argo won for Best Picture, but he wasn’t even nominated for director. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I think she is in some great company. I honestly think the directors branch is kind of a snobby old school club- less about race and more about dues. Somehow you have to pay your “dues” to get in, but they have snubbed quite a few amazing directors over the years. Kathryn Bigelow is right if she goes with her own vision and continues to produce good work, she will eventually get the accolades she deserves. Not saying the academy isn’t full of some racist people, but I think this is probably just the way it goes in the directors area.

      Now with David, well I honestly don’t quite understand the Bradley Cooper lovefest the Academy has with him, but they do. I think this performance is one of his best, certainly better than American Hustle, although I did like Silver Linings Playbook. Still I think David was better. Most years I think David would have been a shoe in, but this years Best Actor was stacked hard, and a few great performances fell out. Maybe a few cranky crazy racist people did hurt his nomination, but I bet he was real close to a nomination.

      • Michelle says:

        no way– well said. I also don’t understand the fawning over Bradley. Maybe it is because of how he treated his ex-wife. Something about him rubs me the wrong way.

    • Debbie says:

      It’s about lack of publicity, late screeners, not fitting in the good old boys club and yes race.

      I saw this movie and it was fantastic and beyond deserving of Oscars especially Ava. This was a beyond impressive directorial work. I would say she deserves to win if not for the film boyhood, which not nearly as good of film story wise or acting but was an amazing directorial piece.

      Also I don’t get the LBJ stuff. I don’t think he looks that bad, he looks like a politician balancing a lot and playing the game. He didn’t look racist or like he was against civil rights just wanted to not deal with it right then. Also his conversation with Wallace was great. Can someone explain the issue to me?

    • meet meep says:

      I saw the movie and found it to be quite slow moving and boring :-/

  5. atrain says:

    I saw Selma, and I didn’t think it was all that amazing. Why does she deserve to be nominated for an Oscar? Just because of her skin color? There are always people and films that we expect to be nominated that aren’t, and I don’t think it’s all a big social injustice.
    I looked at her imdb page, and this appears to be her first directing job. Maybe with a few more films under her belt, she’ll be recognized in the way she thinks she deserves.

    • Algernon says:

      You’re obviously a troll but I’ll throw you some bait. The problem is that they nominated Selma for Best Picture, but not Best Director, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. You think the movie is one of the best of the year, but you ignore the person responsible for making it?

      I understand when a director gets a nod but not the movie, that’s like saying, “We admire this more than we actually like it.” It’s recognizing technical proficiency, if nothing else. But a BP nod without acknowledging the director’s role? That’s something else entirely.

      • anon says:

        There are 10 spots for Best picture and only 5 spots for Director. There is no conspiracy here. Ava didn’t make the cut.

        It is not only the director who makes the picture, but the whole team. So, the picture could be better than the director.

        In some cases it is the actors who carry the picture despite everything else.

      • AKA says:

        But there were 4 other movies which were nominated for Best Picture and not for Director. Where is the outcry for those movies? I understand that Black actors and movies based on Black people don’t usually end up being popular with the public due to a variety of reasons, but something about her words make it seem like she thought she was entitled to be nominated because of her skin colour.

      • Jessica says:

        American Sniper, Theory of Everything, and Whiplash also were nominated for Best Picture and did not receive a Best Director nomination. There will ALWAYS be films who received a Best Picture nomination and not a Best Director nomination because there are 10 possible spots for Best Picture and only 5 possible spots for Best Director.

        It’s weirder for a film to receive a Best Director and not a Best Picture nomination, actually, simply because there are more films nominated for Best Picture than Best Director.

        PS. Argo won for Best Picture in 2013 and Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for Best Director.

      • atrain says:

        Sorry, not a troll. Not every movie nominated for best picture will also be nominated for best director, and vice versa. Nor do they deserve to be.

      • no way says:

        This happened to Argo in 2012. Nominated and even won the Oscar, but no nod for Ben Affleck as Director. Last I looked Ben was pretty white, just saying they have this history that people wish to ignore, even before they changed how many pictures they could nominate.

      • Mel M says:

        I don’t understand how this can be a legit argument. There were 4 others that didn’t get the best director nom. Of all the other issues that people have with this movie not getting what they think it deserves this argument just doesn’t hold up.

      • Jayna says:

        She’s not the first. Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated, and his movie not only was nominated, it won best movie of the year.

        The Color Purple won Best Movie of the year. Steven Spielburg was nominated but did not win for Best Director.

      • Algernon says:

        There is a growing conversation about expanding the director field to match best picture, or cutting BP back down to 5 spots only. The director/picture thing is inseparable given the way we’re taught to watch/assess films, and it will continue to be a problem if they keep an expanded BP field. Eventually they’ll get tired of it and adjust one of the groups to match. You guys make a good point that there are other BP nominees who didn’t get a director nod, but I think what a lot of industry types, myself included, are responding to is the inclusion of Morton Tyldum (sp?) over DuVernay. Nothing about The Imitation Game’s direction was special or unique or authorial. *That* is what makes it feel like a snub. They chose a less distinct, boring white guy option over the more authorial DuVernay.

      • TheOnlyDee says:

        Algernon, I agree about The Imitation Game’s director. I liked Selma and felt it was well directed and well acted and I thought The Imitation Game was a cookie cutter Oscar bait film that was mechanically acted and boring. These things are very subjective, but I do agree that there is an argument that Selma was the better directed film. I also have to agree with the notion that the director’s branch of the Academy is probably quite exclusive and snobby. It may well have been because she is a novice young director with very little experience and not had anything to do with her being a black woman. Or it could be a combination.

    • Biki says:

      In USA it is abot networking, I am white and was raised totally not knowing what is racism, to me someone is bad as a person or good. How on Earth can say that Mlrgan Freeman or Densel are bad actors???

      Sorry, English is not my first language.

    • jm says:

      I don’t think that sounds like a troll. I had a similar thought, though I haven’t seen any of the movies nominated. Maybe it is racism but isn’t it at all possible they just thought others were more deserving?
      Also, There are 10(?) best picture nominees and only five best director. Half of the movies nominated for best picture didn’t get a best director. I am not into all this oscar business, so I am probably missing something but so many good movies seem to get snubbed this is just another one.

    • Danskins says:

      @Atrain, Ava has already directed two other critically acclaimed major films plus various other indie short films, so I’m not sure how Selma is the only one you’re seeing reflected on her IMDB page.

      Just want to add that I’m so tired of Ava’s work being minimized when she’s clearly talented, competent and good at what she does, as her current and past films indicate.

  6. Bridget says:

    I hope those anonymous comments keep coming, because those are by far the most illuminating.

    And I’m happy that diversity in movies is finally becoming a real conversation.

  7. Hawkeye says:

    I’m most annoyed by people saying that Selma had some historical inaccuracies, therefore not a good enough film to garner more nominations. If that was really the measure being used, The Imitation Game wouldn’t have been nominated for any awards either. In my opinion, that Hollywoodified version of Alan Turing’s life is pretty insulting to his memory.

    • anon says:

      But the Imitation Game didn’t make a well known person ( especially an American president) into an evil mastermind. This is just not something that most people would be able to overlook.

      • Hawkeye says:

        Editing my comments: actually, a guy working on the most secret project for the British and allies against the Germans covering for a Soviet spy sounds pretty damn evil mastermind to me, which is what The Imitation Game featured: that Turing covered for a Soviet spy. Compared to how LBJ was portrayed in Selma, it’s worse in my opinion. But not the point; the point I’m trying to make is that if historical in/accuracies are so important, The Imitation Game would be ignored.

      • Debbie says:

        Neither did Selma! LBJ looked like a president and a politician that was running the country at a volatile time. Sorry but he looked like a politician that had agendas important to him he wanted to push and knew he only had so much wiggle room.

        I am honestly not getting the LBJ was portrayed badly. He wasn’t.

      • andypandy says:

        @anon
        Seriously I am bewildered about whether through selective amnesia or willful ignorance how little some people living in America seem to know about American history
        It brings to mind the Old Proverb “Until the Lion learns to speak the tales of glory will always go to the hunter “

        Yes LBJ did eventually step and do the right thing but he was somewhat of a reluctant hero somewhat akin to De Clerk in South Africa at the end of apartheid

        LBJ was the product of his time and his upbringing , someone can be magnanimous towards women and or minorities and still have deep rooted sexist or racist tendencies engrained .There are several taped recordings/quotes of LBJ referring to the Civil rights bill as the N*** bill as well as calling black people uppity for wanting to protect their right to vote etc

        I think you and probably some members of the academy are upset that he wasnt portrayed as the white savior who was totally to be credited for Selma and the Civil Rights movement

      • Michonne says:

        I actually agree with you andypandy about LBJ. LBJ was definitely a flawed person and really, really crude- which like you say is a product of his time and upbringing. I just think its a problem that the movie portrayed him as opposing the Selma movement and trying to discredit. It’s not that I don’t think he would do this- but he didn’t. In this particular instance, in this circumstance, LBJ really did do the right thing and fought hard for the Civil Rights Act. People are weird. Sometimes really flawed people for some reason will fight hard for the right thing when generally good people sit down. I thought the movie was beautiful except for this part, and I did have trouble ignoring it. I have no comment on the academy. I have no idea. It wouldn’t surprise me at all of there is lots of racism there.

    • Mia4S says:

      Forget the Imitation Game, Argo WON. That stupid movie was about as accurate to history as an episode of 1960′s Batman.

    • Alexis says:

      Folks are used to films about civil rights featuring a “good” white person that they know and identify with. Selma focused on black people as protagonists and LBJ was a notible figure that wasn’t portrayed super sympatheticially. Subconsciously I’m sure the academy wanted to validate their goodness by identifying with a good white character. This is Selma’s unforgivable “mistake”

  8. anon says:

    Not this again. No black woman to call and ask? Why does that woman need to be black, or even a woman? This kind of reverse racism is so mainstream in the US now, nobody even notices it.

    If you need a woman, call Angie. Angie was snabbed too. And Angie knows how the things work very well since her dad has been in the industry forever and Brad is a major player in the industry.

    Or you know what, how about just calling Brad directly since he was one of the producers?

    • Tanguerita says:

      The trolls are really on the roll here, huh?

      • lizzie says:

        right? unreal. there is no such thing as reverse racism.

      • TheOnlyDee says:

        Lizzie, I check out of a conversation the second I hear the ridiculous term “reverse racism.”

      • lululemon1 says:

        As soon as someone has a different opinion regarding this issue, so many of the commentators here are quick to throw out the word “troll”. Really? Is that how you’re going to shut down this conversation? well, it’s a mighty quick way to do it.

        And maybe you don’t like the term reverse racism but racist characters exist across all ethnicities. Maybe that’s what Anon was referring to.

    • Ann says:

      Your delusions and ignorance of white privilage especially in Hollywood are incredible.

    • Bridget says:

      @Anon: honest, not snarky question. Why does this bother you so much?

      • andypandy says:

        @Bridget
        Do you really have to ask ?
        @anon On another note coming from yesterdays Anthony Mackie thread
        I note the director is sporting dreadlocks , would you say she is either
        a) a criminal
        b unprofessional/uneducated
        c) unkempt/practices poor personal hygiene and does not wash her hair often
        d) all of the above

        I will show myself out >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • Debbie says:

      Or Angelina knows how it works because SHE is a major player (bigger then Brad or father) and has played the game and oh yeah acually won. And is arguably one of the most respected people in Hollywood.

      But she knows how it works because Of her daddy who only works now because he is or daddy and her husband who isn’t nearly as accomplished. Yep that makes sense. Rme at the sad blatant sexism.

    • BlueeJay says:

      I have to agree with the poster. I am so tired of blacks refusing to see that white people can empathize and understand. How about a call to Angie or another female “white” producer to talk about being a female director in Hollywood. So tired of blacks hating on whites it is getting really old.

      • Bridget says:

        Come on folks, don’t you understand how hard it is for white people to talk about racism? Can’t we just be done with it already?

    • Dani2 says:

      You lost me at “reverse racism”.

    • lucy2 says:

      She’s looking for someone who’s been through it, to guide her through the experience of being both a woman and a person of color in a very white male dominated industry. That’s not to say she can’t get advice from other people at all, but, I think at least, she’s looking for someone who would understand her particular situation, and there’s no one she can turn to.
      People of other genders and/or races can certainly empathize and do their best to understand, but it’s always filtered through their own experience too.

      • LAK says:

        There are black women working in the industry.

        Eg this year alone, Amma Assante was completely overlooked for BELLE. Ditto Effie Brown for DEAR WHITE PEOPLE – a film that was loved at Sundance and the Independent Spirit Awards, but apparently not by the academy.

        So Ava isn’t alone.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      Do you seriously believe she should call Angie?? Because Angie has experience being a black female filmmaker in Hollywood?

      • BlueeJay says:

        This is the problem. So can white’s only understand white’s and black’s can only understand black’s. When people say things like this it increases the divide between races not brings them closer together. It creates and us and them. Can’t two women of different colors discuss and get support form each other? To me that is the same as a white NFL saying that they needed to talk with another white person who plays the game about a loss because a black player would not understand it like they would. Seriously this kind of crazy needs to stop. We are all people black or white and we can all understand loss and help each other out.

      • AlmondJoy says:

        Blueejay: I NEVER said blacks only understand blacks and whites only understand whites. We’re not talking about general things like food, clothing, education, etc. Yes all people are people. In this situatuon though, are we not talking about discrimination and racism?? In this particular situation, Angie would NOT have the same exact experience as Ava. She has NOT experienced what it’s like to be a black, female filmmaker. Please don’t twist or misinterpret my words.

      • AlmondJoy says:

        Please excuse that first comment. Somehow it posted before I could finish.

      • Bridget says:

        How has no one pointed out that Angelina was gunning for a nomination in the same category?

      • jessia says:

        Angie also wouldn’t know what’s its like to struggle for directing gigs since she is already a famous actress. Even though her directorial debut was panned, she still was able to direct a popular book when she has not proven to be a good director anyways. That’s really unfair to people that have to work hard and struggle for directing gigs in Hollywood. I personally wasn’t impressed with Unbroken movie and wished it was better. She completely missed the point of Louis story for Unbroken. If Angie was someone who got out of grad school with her film degree and was struggling for work in Hollywood, she would not have been allowed to direct something as big as Unbroken. No way.

    • jessia says:

      Angie was not snubbed! Unbroken got bad reviews and has a rating of 49% on RT! Selma got rave reviews and has a rating of 100% on RT! Ava was the one who was snubbed, not Angie! Angie also didn’t get any good reviews for her directing, it was actually panned. Why should Ava call her up?
      Angie didn’t struggle to become a director, she got handed a 65 million porject despite her lack or talent or skills as a director. That’s unfair. Ava had to struggle to become director and its good she was able to get major Oscar nominations and earn praise as a director. I have more respect for women like Ava since they have to work hard for their dreams and not get handed to them because of their already-existing celebrity status.

  9. lower-case deb says:

    i don’t understand, so the screener got to people who voted for Best Picture in time, but did not get to every other person in every other eligible category at all?

    • LAK says:

      The entire academy votes on best picture. The individual categories are voted for by their own guild members.

      Therefore she might have received the best picture nomination because of several other guilds’ combined votes.

      Apparently her own guild didn’t think she made the cut.

  10. Luca76 says:

    Has no one heard the LBJ tapes I mean he was definitely a product of his time and was no saint when it came to civil rights eventhough he eventually did the right thing.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Exactly!

    • Amy says:

      White savior darling.

      No one was an angel and everyone was a product of their time period but like others have said the lack of that white savior just irks something bad. I also believe that’s why Belle was ignored as the amazing film it was, because the story was about this young black girl fighting and struggling for herself without any white person there to give her the life-changing after school special talk.

  11. scout says:

    True that!
    But make better movies next time and be awarded if they are well deserved. Can’t expect to get rewarded just because….

    • Ann says:

      Give me a break. Selma and Boyhood are the best reviewed films. But those lifetime movies like The Imitation Game, Theory of Everything get nominated. It’s white group of men that refuses to let anyone in. If there wasn’t a category for Best Actress there would be no women either.
      They admit they gave the Oscar last year to 12 years a slave to protect themselves against obvious bias in favour of white filmmakers.
      Foxcatcher, Imitation Game and American Sniper weren’t historically accurate and they have no problem with that.

      • JessSaysNo says:

        Lifetime movies?! LOL you are crazy..

      • Ann says:

        Those films are average at best. If you read film critics forums you’d know.
        They only got in the race because of producers and good campaigns.

        Look at the rating.

        Metacritic: score

        The Imitation Game 72

        The Theory of Everything 72

        American Sniper 72

        Selma 89
        On Rottentomatoes Selma has 99%

  12. Talie says:

    If I was a black artist, the Academy awards wouldn’t even matter to me. I mean, don’t tell me there weren’t some years where black actors and actresses were far superior to their white counterparts — and that goes for below the line as well.

    Angela Bassett comes to mind — she should be seen as overdue the same way Julianne Moore is now!

    • FingerBinger says:

      I agree about Angela Bassett. She’s one of the most talented ,but under appreciated actresses in Hollywood.

    • no way says:

      I agree about Angela, and the worse part about Angela is she doesn’t get the parts to even have a shot again. Contrary to what Meryl and Russell believe if you are older, a woman, and the third strike for her is she is African American it is hard to get work in award worthy films. I know Viola Davis has some roles, but she even says how hard it is, and is now stars on a television show with an African American producer.

    • Sam says:

      You know what, I had totally forgotten about Angela Bassett. The fact that she’s gotten only one nomination is, frankly, a travesty (and Laurence Fishburne losing to Tom Hanks? Blasphemy!).

  13. andypandy says:

    AS a BW. I have mixed feelings abut this there is absolutely no denial that there is a lack of diversity in Hollywood not just Black , but Hispanics , Asians, Native american and women of all colours including white in ” non traditional “roles of writing directing producing etc

    On one hand because we are acutely aware of this lack of diversity it makes it an easy go to position to be a race issue but is it automatically so ? are the people saying so, did they see BirdMan , Boyhood etc?
    On the other hand many Americans are in denial that race is in the back ground of a lot of decision making whether consciously / subconsciously
    One Mantra that has keeps me sane is that “Racism can be found anywhere/everywhere but not everything is racism.
    Did race play a role in Selma snub probably but there could have been other factors as well

    Note to Ava: one of my favorite movies of all time Shawshank Redemption was snubbed for best actor and movie and look how that movie has stood up over time

    • Danskins says:

      I love Shawshank Redemption, a total classic and eternal favorite!

      It just goes to show how often these oscar voters get things wrong.

  14. Ohreallynow says:

    I’ve heard Hollywood compared to being in high school. So you know how things go in high school the same people get things and people wonder why or how b/c they don’t deserve it and the ones that do get nothing. So I’m sure there is a lot of this crap in Hollywood…..or the ones that have connections get ahead over the ones w/ talent or its who you know more than anything, so this doesn’t surprise me that sometimes things that should get nominated don’t. That’s how it is in life. I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t speak from personal experience if it deserved it. Maybe she did or maybe she didn’t or maybe her time will come later. Who knows sometimes how or why things happen this way. Its like this in other real world things. I have twin daughters in high school that play sports and we shake our head all the time over things that go on. I’m sure Hollywood is no different.

  15. I Choose Me says:

    For all the people talking about how LBJ was ‘misrepresented’ here’s a quote from the man himself:

    “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”

    LBJ was opposed to Civil Rights legislation until it was beneficial for him not to be. He wanted to be president and when he saw that the tide had turned in favor of Civil Rights, he got on board.

    • Ann says:

      That doesn’t matter to people who are so set in their views on other races. They ignore it and will use any counter argument to prove how undeserved a person of colour is of any praise.
      Like one of the upper comments saying it’s Ava’s fault for not being connected to directors in Hollywood. Ignoring how racist and sexist they are.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      I Choose Me: Thanks for posting this! Informative.

    • TRJ says:

      Yeah, I’m not sure where the narrative of LBJ being a civil rights crusader came from – most of the academic material I’ve read on the man agrees that he was trying to seem more progressive than his counterparts, not that he was doing much out of his own sense of justice.

      I do take issue with the attribution of the wiretapping to Johnson, though – I think it actually undermines how long and how hard the government worked to discredit MLK.

    • andypandy says:

      @I choose me Thank you !!
      i posted something similar upthread its either people have selective memories or only one side of things are being taught in school but there are tapes of LBJ conversation and he says things like this all the time and worse ..There was even a HISTORY teacher on here a few days ago who is teaching American history in schools and apparently willfully or otherwise knows NOTHING about this side of LBJ !!!!

    • Amy says:

      Thank you!

      But you know, again, he’s our white savior. Same with Lincoln, so long as someone has throw us the tiniest crumbs in history were supposed to worship them eternally.

    • MaiGirl says:

      THANK YOU!!!

    • RobN says:

      Just for accuracy’s sake, the comment about Reconstruction all over again is not a reference to the passage of civil rights legislation, it’s a comment that refers to blacks joining the Republican Party instead of the Democratic. Blacks joined the party of Lincoln for generations after the Civil War and LBJ’s concern was that it would turn that way again if Northern Republicans were seen as supportive of legislation and Southern Democrats were not. Context matters and this is clearly designed to give the impression that LBJ feared massive Reconstruction like legislation being passed, and that simply is not what this quote is about.

      • I Choose Me says:

        You’re right. Those quotes were not in reference to the passing of civil rights legislation but my point still stands. LBJ was NOT the savior that some revisionists purport him to be. And I’m tired of hearing about the lack of accuracy in Selma when other biopics like TIG and face no such criticism.

  16. ¡mire usted! says:

    Excellent analysis Kaiser. I admire Ava DuVernay for maintaining her artistic vision of this historical event. All race aside, she’s directed a great film. Now she needs to direct an Oscar campaign just as well. Meeting with Kathryn Bigelow was a brilliant decision – especially on navigating the networking aspect. Perhaps even compromise in interviews regarding LBJ’s position a little. It wouldn’t change the film itself. (Cooper is doing this now with American Sniper w/ “actually, it’s just a character study.”) Distance herself from recent protesting. There’s the real damage control that needs to be done. I think Academy members may feel giving her the Best Director nomination or giving it the Best Picture award could create bigger protests. She needs to address that this film is not advocating violence.

    Either way, Ava DuVernay is already a winner. She’s walking in new artistic territory as a successful female black director and she should be proud. I mean, she’s even gotten on Celebitchy! So there! And more important than anything else, I love her locs!!!! LOL

  17. Josefa says:

    I would’ve liked Ava to be nominated even if the film wasn’t that good. Just because she’s a black woman. Yup, I would’ve liked them to nominate a black woman just ’cause. They are always nominating old white guys for mediocre works just because they are old white guys and have friends in the Academy anyway. So why is it so unfair and unthinkable for Ava to be in that situation?

    Not saying she didn’t deserve it, btw. I haven’t watched her movie.

    • Amy says:

      I understand what you mean.

      Everyone says, “She shouldn’t be nominated simply because of her race. Maybe the film wasn’t good enough, too bad, too sad.”

      Ignoring that our films are never good enough unless they follow a very specific criteria, a criteria even Ava was determined to rebuke. So yes let’s pretend that ‘punishment’ isn’t coming into the decision making and that everyone nominated had the best reviewed movies. Oh they didn’t? Well let’s pretend all those other movies were more historically correct. Oh they weren’t? Well let’s pretend folks are actually judged equally and given equal chances. Oh they’re not.

      It gets to the point where you don’t want to hear the crap and excuses you just want to see the results. Anytime we’ve made progress in an area we’ve had to legislate for it to become more open to minorities. Everytime we haven’t things have remained the same.

      • Josefa says:

        Exactly. All of the criticism directed towards Selma can be applied to most of the other nominated movies. It’s well known the Academy doesn’t nominate based on talent and performance plenty of times.

        Anyway, maybe getting snubbed will actually help Ava. Her non-nomination has been more commented than the actual noms.

  18. Jayna says:

    There’s a lot of great movies that came out this year. Selma was nominated. There are only five director slots. It’s a shame she couldn’t have been nominated in that too and been recognized. But Selma won’t win. It doesn’t stand up to a couple of the greats in the eight nominated, but it is worthy of being in the list of eight nominated, just not the top tier in that list.

    Boyhood should win. The casting was impeccable for all of the roles in it, and never one false note hit, never felt like they were acting nor weren’t those characters, and it could have gone so wrong since it was filmed over 12 years and the boy was six when it started. But the boy was perfect for the role as he grew into his teens. It’s an indie movie, made for very little, but it is a masterpiece for what it is.

  19. MaiGirl says:

    “It’s math” is EPIC subtle shade throwing. She threw outright shade, interspersed with little gems like these :)
    The anonymous Academy members should hear themselves talk. Hopefully, listening without speaking will show them how their comments confirm everything they are arguing isn’t true.
    On a very shallow note, Ava is JAW-DROPPINGLY gorgeous, and I love her hair!

  20. Jayna says:

    “Dree says:
    January 22, 2015 at 10:43 am
    Totally disagree, Argo was nowhere near the best movie in 2012. It was an ok movie it won because it was the least controversial and Ben Affleck was the golden boy that year. So much of it relies on politics and who runs the best campaign, who appeals to the academy voters who are predominately old, male and white.”

    If Ben Affleck was the golden boy that year and certainly campaigned, how is it he didn’t even get a Best Director nomination, not even a nom, and his movie won?
    I wouldn’t call him the Golden Boy of the Oscars, which is what we’re talking about here, the Oscars and Ava’s snub.. That was a huge snub for Ben, not to even be put in the Best Director list considering it won. Sometimes a director will be nominated and the movie will win, but he won’t get the BD oscar. But Ben wasn’t even nominated. So much for Golden Boy of the Oscars to have that big of a snub considering the movie won.

  21. Amy says:

    I’m hoping more anonymous messages roll out so I can hear all the excuses from people defending the system. Much like how people suddenly got a big dose of reality when the Sony emails leaked, we’re getting little sips now.

    At the end of the day Spike was right. You don’t do it for the recognition simply because you won’t get any unless you’re putting the right characters in the spotlight and making the system happy. She refused to pretty it up and offer the white savior dialogue present in so many of these films, just like Belle, and just like Belle she was snubbed.

    If you do this its because you love it and you keep pushing and make films for your audience. Congrats to Ava, she might not have known but her film is being discussed more than all the others.

  22. Amy says:

    No seriously, I want people to read the anonymous comments the next time they try to defend this nonsense. It’s damning. You can ‘hear’ exactly what so any commenters have said for days on end.

    1. They care about historical accuracy only when it’s the white man saving the disenfranchised African Americans.

    2. They nominated 12 years so come on, they’ve fulfied their quota.

    3. They want to be comfortably liberal. Let’s all smile and hold hands and you thank us for giving you any little reward but don’t dare make us question ourselves of feel uncomfortable.

    It’s nice and terribly sad to be right.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      Amy: You have been speaking such TRUTH these last few posts! Thanks for contributing to the discussion in such an informative and respectful way. Sadly, much of what you’ve said has fallen on deaf ears.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yes! To everything you’ve said.

  23. radio active says:

    I’ve always been confused by the 10 Best Movie noms and five slots for everything else. It’s so uneven. Do 10 of everything or five of everything.

    Either way, the Oscars should not define a film or filmmaker. Keep telling the stories on the screen.

  24. Mark Wilson says:

    While Selma certainly deals with one of the most significant political eras in our history, I didn’t think it was that great of a film. Should such films that try to tackle important social issues – race, sexuality, inequality automatically get award recognition regardless of whether they do the subject justice?

  25. meh says:

    GOOD FOR HER. Everything she said in this interview is on point and articulated clearly and powerfully. I hope she goes on to have lots of nominations, wins, and box office successes, but even if she doesn’t, she has already succeeded in a major way.

  26. carol says:

    Race and gender will be an issue for Hollywood for a long time. Just look at the people running the studios and the members of the Academy. It will change, just not as fast as it should or we want it to. Like the rest of America.

  27. md1979 says:

    >[H]er lack of personal and professional connections with those directors would, she thought. “I know not one person in my branch,” she said.

    I think Duvernay hit the nail on the head here. The Oscars seems like one big popularity contest. If she doesn’t even know anyone in her branch, how can she mobilize the friend-base that she needs to nominate her? It’s basically buddies voting for their buddies. So if she doesn’t know any of them, and the screeners weren’t distributed properly… it’s not surprising she didn’t get a nom, regardless of merit, race, gender, or anything else you want to throw in there. I mean, how else does Bradley Cooper get noms three years in a row?!? He’s not exactly the DDL of America…

  28. Gigi says:

    I heard screeners weren’t sent out for this film. I’m guessing that hurt the nominations?

  29. Bookish says:

    Not being nominated for a mediocre movie like Selma is not being snubbed. The middle dragged, we all know it, and Ava DuVernay did not deserve the nom. David Oyelowo may have deserved the nom for his portrayal; that’s a tight race this year. His was a very good performance.

    IN OTHER MOVIE NEWS, if we want to discuss how there are no non-white actors in the categories, Gugu Mbatha-Raw was robbed for Belle. THAT was a very good movie with an excellent portrayal by Mbatha-Raw. And no one even talks about it, because it’s not even a movie most of you, much less the Academy, even saw.

  30. Danskins says:

    Wow, the trolls are really out in force tonight.

  31. ataylor says:

    Serious question: Out of the five directors that WERE nominated, who should HAVE NOT been nominated? Because there are only five spots available. So which currently nominated director should get the hypothetical boot?

  32. LaurieH says:

    As I mentioned before, the Oscars are a joke. They are highly political, campaigns and bribes are involved, personal friendships, grudges, etc…. Anyone who thinks that the nominees – much less the winners – represent the “best of the best” are deluding themselves. Ava should be proud – very proud – of the work she created. Selma was a really good film, even if it took some exaggerated creative license on the LBJ portrayal – but so what? As she pointed out, she wasn’t doing a documentary about Selma for The History Channel. She was making a drama. The dil was – for good reason – nominated for Best Picture. Just because something is nominated for Best Pictures doesn’t automatically mean the producers, directors, actors, editors, costumers and musical scores should also get nominations. How often have we seen actors nominated for roles in films that weren’t nominated? All the time. Again, Ava should be proud of the art she created and I hope she doesn’t give the Oscars any further thought and instead concentrate on her next project. She’s already a shining star.

  33. LaurieH says:

    I’d like to add something else: people are more inclined, following the Oscars, to go out and see (or rent/buy) a film that was nominated (or won) Best Picture than for any other category. Just because an actor or director wins a nomination doesn’t mean people will go out to see that movie just to see the acting or directing. Best Picture means a good story – and that’s what people primarily focus on – not the actors or behind the scenes things. Selma was an important story to tell at a very pivotal time in our history. To concentrate on the actors and director getting snubs is to take the focus away from the story itself. In this case, it’s the story – a true life story – that is the “star”.