2017 Oscar Awards see Black Talent


After the Oscar nomination controversy of the last two years which was characterised as the ‘all white Oscars’ which was skilfully hosted last time round by the Black comedian Chris Rock, this year has seen a complete turnaround with a record breaking six Black actor nominations, and three Black films up for Oscar awards .

Some eye-catching nominations are Denzel Washington and his co-star Viola Davis in the moving film ‘Fences’, and Octavia Spencer nominated for ‘Hidden Figures’ , the film about the Black NASA mathematicians who helped put rockets into space. Equally eye-catching has been the film ‘Moonlight’ which has received raved reviews for its film direction, excellent acting and taking on a difficult subject matter; homosexuality and manhood within Black culture. All three films have been nominated for Best Picture. .

Closer to home the increasing brilliant British actor Dev Patel, ‘Slum-dog Millionaire’ has received a nod for his latest role in the “Lion.”

The nominations earned praise from the African American Film Critics Association; AAFCA President Gil Robertson IV stated:

The African American Film Critics Association is totally thrilled with the record-breaking number of nominations earned this year by actors and other creative artists of color. AAFCA applauds the Academy’s efforts and we hope that their progress continues to reflect America’s rich diversity.”

We’ll have to wait and see who the eventual winners will be, but last year’s controversy forced Hollywood to both reflect on its shockingly white list of those eligible to nominate stars and films, and furthermore to take off its blinkers and see the range and depth of diverse talent right on its Hollywood doorstep.

Simon Woolley