‘Till’ Director Criticizes Hollywood for ‘Upholding Whiteness’ After Oscar Snub

Till Director Chinonye Chukwu attends the film's premiere in Los Angeles on Oct. 8, 2022 (Credit: Eric Charbonneau)

Till director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu called out Oscar voters for “unabashed misogyny towards Black women” after her critically acclaimed Civil Rights drama was left off the list of nominees announced Tuesday morning.

Black women directed several award-winning movies released over the past year, including The Woman King directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Nanny from writer-director Nikyatu Jusu, and Till. Yet none of the three films received a single Oscar nomination.

In response, Chukwu posted a statement on Instagram Tuesday evening, saying Hollywood has a problem when it comes to viewing the work of Black female directors.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

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Film academy leadership has insisted in recent years that they were taking steps to increase diversity among the group’s membership. Yet Oscar voters continue to receive criticism.

On Tuesday, the hashtag #OscarsSoMale trended on Twitter after the academy’s director’s branch failed to nominate a single woman in the Best Director category.

The nominees in the category are Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin, Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans, Todd Field for Tár, and Ruben Ostlund for Triangle of Sadness.

In addition to ignoring Black women, Oscar voters also snubbed Aftersun director Charlotte Wells, She Said director Maria Schrader; and Sarah Polley who directed Women Talking, which received Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay nominations.