When the 2015 Academy Award nominations were read, a lot of people were shocked by the lack of nomination for Selma director Ava DuVernay. Those shocked people did not include Ava DuVernay. In fact, she predicted, in a conversation with Entertainment Weekly back in December, that her name would not be among those nominated for Best Director.
“It would be lovely,” she told EW over lunch in L.A. on Dec. 18. “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.”
EW broke down that math, and it’s hard to argue her logic. Especially since, as we now know, she was right. See, only the people in a specific line of work get to vote on who gets the nomination. Actors pick actors, cinematographers pick cinematographers, and, of course, directors pick directors.
According to a 2012 study by the Los Angeles Times, the directors’ branch is 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.
Many have speculated that DuVernay’s snub had two big drivers: race and gender. But at least one Academy member says that to nominate DuVernay because she’s black would be even more racist.
“It’s almost like because she is African-American, we should have made her one of the nominees,” says one member. “I think that’s racist. Look at what we did last year with 12 Years.”
Whatever happens with Selma at the Oscars, we can hopefully all look forward to the end of people using 12 Years a Slave as the “See? We let a black movie win last year!” excuse for its lack of awards.
Source: Entertainment Weekly