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Why is "Best Actress" so hard for women of Color?

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  • Seven
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    Yes, She gave a really good performance. I also believe Sidibe might have been close to winning like Davis was. Albeit even closer imo considering Davis was going up against Meryl and Weinstein.

    No, that’s unlikely

    That year Meryl won the Comedy Globe and tied with Bullock at CC (her overdue narrative was also starting to kick in) while Mulligan won the BAFTA. The Academy loved Precious but there’s nothing that indicates that Gabourey ever had a chance to win, especially when it was her debut performance and Mo’Nique was also winning Supporting in a landslide

    Davis on the other hand won SAG and CC against Meryl. She obviously came closer than Sidibe

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 1 hour ago by  Seven.
    • This reply was modified 4 days, 1 hour ago by  Seven.
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    Seven
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    I wonder how close Gabourey Sidibe came to winning a Lead Actress Oscar for “Precious”. In my opinion, she was so much better than Sandra Bullock, who I do love but just didn’t think she was Oscar worthy in “The Blind Side”. I guess Hollywood was more interested in giving their box office draw an award over the better performance in 2009.

    I don’t think Hollywood was ever ready to give Best Actress to Sidibe, no matter how great she was. She doesn’t look like Halle Berry, so they obviously weren’t interested in pushing her to the leading lady status.

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    m844
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    Unfortunately, I also don’t think Gabourey Sidibe was ever going to win Lead Actress over Sandra Bullock, who was clearly one of Hollywood’s most loved actresses. Gabourey deserved it far more though, but it’s as much a popularity contest as anything else. Think also Sean Penn winning over Mickey Rourke, although not undeserved. If you’re not with the “in crowd,” you’re unlikely to win. Think of the anonymous Oscar voter comments against Jennifer Lopez this year about why she wasn’t nominated. They said things like she’s just playing herself or she’s not a real actress.

    Actresses of color face both sexism and racism when it comes to lead roles in particular. Men of color face racism, but overall, there clearly are more roles (lead and supporting) for men in general. Think of science fiction or action movies where the whole cast is men and they throw in one woman. The roles are just not there, so creators and executives have to make the effort to give lead roles to women of color, not just white women or men. This is also true with the TV Academy with Viola Davis being the only woman of color still to ever win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

    That being said, as much as I like Renee Zellweger, I really thought this year could have been the year that finally another woman of color would follow in Halle Berry’s footsteps to win the Lead Actress Oscar. Everyone was buzzing about Cynthia Erivo in Harriet, then Awkwafina won the GG for Actress in a Motion Picture Musical/Comedy, Lupita Nyong’o swept the critics awards, and Alfre Woodard was in a Sundance Grand Jury Prize Dramatic winning movie. There were a lot of choices for Oscar voters, and they chose only to nominate 1 person of color.

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    Bee
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    What Viola Davis said was true; you can’t win or even be nominated for roles that aren’t there for you. But to go further than that, what exactly is “for” POC women? Most of the black actresses who are Oscar winners have won for characters that are struggling in some form or fashion.

    It’s also a testament to see what the awards consider which black/Asian/Hispanic stories “deserve these accolades”. Say, if La La Land was an all black-cast with a black director without their skin color being a main storyline, would it have gone as far as it did?  Would Joker have gotten 11 nominations and maxed out on its industry support if it was about a Black or Asian or Hispanic woman going a murder spree due to their own insanity?

    Cynthia Erivo and Renee Zellweger had baity roles playing real people, middling reviews for their films, similar box office and yet Renee is the one that’s the frontrunner and Cynthia was the one hanging by a thread for 5th place? With that, why was Harriet the only POC story worth nominating when it came to women? Lupita Nyong’o and Joaquin Phoenix had similarly physically and mentally demanding performances with financially successful films behind them yet the latter was considered to be more worthy to not only have a locked slot but also be the frontrunner for a violent thriller.

    Basically, the roles aren’t there and the awards bodies aren’t looking beyond their comfort zones to recognize women of color (the struggle/oppressive roles) with more complex roles.

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    Sean Phillips
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    I like these takes on it:

     

    https://youtu.be/qEberAZhZy4

     

    and

    https://youtu.be/8mmcvgd8XF0

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    Emmyfan
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    I wonder how close Gabourey Sidibe came to winning a Lead Actress Oscar for “Precious”. In my opinion, she was so much better than Sandra Bullock, who I do love but just didn’t think she was Oscar worthy in “The Blind Side”. I guess Hollywood was more interested in giving their box office draw an award over the better performance in 2009.

    Sandra Bullock gave a better performance in Gravity than she did in The Blind Side. The better performances were given by Gabourey Sidibe and Carey Mulligan gave the best performances in this category and that is who it should have come down to in this race.

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    Show Me The Receipts!
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    Whoopi Goldberg
    Angela Bassett
    Gabourey Sidibe
    & Viola Davis….Should’ve won.

    That’s true tea.

    Quvenzhané was better than Jennifer Lawrence. Fight me!

    My name is NOT Susan.

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    Brayden Fitzsimmons
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    Lupita Nyong’o and Joaquin Phoenix had similarly physically and mentally demanding performances with financially successful films behind them yet the latter was considered to be more worthy to not only have a locked slot but also be the frontrunner for a violent thriller.

    Agreed, all of the praise upon Phoenix can easily be applied to Nyong’o. Physical, transformative performance in a genre film where the lead is playing a dual role / personality.

    Was thinking this in regards to the supporting race as well, the presumed front-runners in both actor & actress were international marquee superstar (who has been famous since their breakout in the 90s) leaning into their natural star charisma to creating one of (if not the) most distinct memorable character of the career.

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    smurty11
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    There’s such a small box of what Oscars consider to be a prestigious role for women to be worthy of winning an Oscar, and women of color are not given the opportunity.

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    syrus80
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    The Academy should not be forgiven for snubbing Alfre (THE true Best Actress) this year. Then they gave the Oscar to Renee, who did a piss poor job of playing Judy Garland.

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    ENGLAND
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    Wow. I am glad this topic came back up.

    This year’s Best Actress category was bullshit. The only person of color nominated was for a role of someone struggling with slavery. 2019 had MANY great roles for people of color. I think that is why people lost interest. They had to award Parasite to make up for the obvious racism when it came to the acting categories. Even the Best Actor winner pointed out how racist the BAFTA’S were. I know I am using the term racist which can seem like a stretch to some but I’m over politically correct terms. 0

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    ENGLAND
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    There’s such a small box of what Oscars consider to be a prestigious role for women to be worthy of winning an Oscar, and women of color are not given the opportunity.

    I slightly disagree.

    Women of color are given better opportunities nowadays, but society forgets that women of color are always last. Society looks at women of color as being under White women regardless of them all being WOMEN.

    Not to go too far out but the women rights movement is not about women of color. It is all about White women. I hate being so blunt but this is the case. Michelle Williams and Jessica Chastain have pointed this out regarding the film industry and I applaud them for that.

    Of course no one should vote for someone that is undeserving but there have been plethora of opportunities to nominate or award women of color. It’s all about the mindset. Things are getting better regarding the amount of roles but we need people to open up their minds as well.

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