Danielle Deadwyler says ‘direct or indirect’ prejudice had an effect on her Oscar snub

Danielle Deadwyler, who many Oscar-watchers felt was a strong contender for a Best Actress nomination this year for her role as the grieving mother Mamie Till-Mobley in “Till,” spoke about her snub on the British podcast “Kermode and Mayo’s Take” on Thursday. When asked to respond to “Till” director Chinonye Chukwu’s assertion that the lack of a nomination reflected “unabashed misogyny towards Black women,” Deadwyler said she agreed.

The actress cited the “lingering effect” of prejudice in “the spaces and the institutions.” She noted that back when Hattie McDaniel won the Oscar for “Gone With The Wind” in 1940, she was not permitted to sit with other white guests. 

“We’re talking about people who perhaps chose not to see the film,” she said of the current academy, adding, “We’re talking about misogynoir. It comes in all kinds of ways. Whether it’s direct or indirect, it impacts who we are.”

The 40-year-old Atlanta-born actress continued, “The question is more intent on people who are living in whiteness, white people’s assessment of what the spaces they are privileged by are doing.”

Deadwyler’s performance won her this year’s Gotham Award for Outstanding Leading Performance, a gender-neutral prize that had her up against Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser, Michelle Yeoh, and others. Director Chukwu accepted on her behalf. (The Gothams recognize excellence in films with a budget of $35 million or less.) She is also up for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA for Best Actress. Her role on the HBO Max series “Station Eleven” has her up for an Independent Spirit Award as well. She’ll next be seen in the science fiction film “Parallel,” based on the Chinese movie “Parallel Forest” opposite Aldis and Edwin Hodge and “It’s Time,” about injured college football star Chucky Mullins set in 1989.

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