25 Black Artists the Oscars Should’ve Nominated in the Last Decade

Articles, Awards

Clayton Davis | Variety

The celebration of Black cinema should be year-round and the focus on embracing Black creatives in the awards community is ongoing.

While the Oscars often receive the brunt of criticism for their lack of diversity among its nominees, they are typically used as a scapegoat for the real issue, which is not enough Black projects and filmmakers getting the green light to tell stories. Hence, the members do not have an abundance of choices to select from in any given year.

There are too few in the bucket of hundreds of films released theatrically every year. Even if Black people make up 13% of the population (a statistic that some throw out about why there aren’t many stories) that benchmark isn’t met in television and movies.

When assessing the phrase “snubs,” which is a term that is admittedly overused when nominations are announced, it has become the universal word for general consumers to understand that there are some films and performances that many felt should have landed in a particular field of nominees, but didn’t.

Variety lists 25 notable omissions from Black creatives across all categories in the last decade. Not to be confused with “the only omissions,” with many others warranting discussion, many of these typically land on a list like this with hindsight or simply because not enough people saw the movie upon release (or sadly, even now). However, when it comes to artisans — the behind-the-scenes industry that consumers aren’t often privy to the working-class status and too often unsung contributions of — we’ll always use this opportunity for readers to learn their names and crafts.

There are also outstanding achievements from this past year featured on the annual “If I Had an Oscar Ballot…” piece.

Check out the list of films and performances released after Jan. 1, 2011, below, along with notable clips from the respective entries.

Honorable mentions: Daniel Kaluuya (“Widows”), Cynthia Erivo (“Bad Times at the El Royale”), Paul Tazewell (“Harriet”), Ruth E. Carter (“Dolemite Is My Name”), The Coup (“Sorry to Bother You”), Kathryn Bostic (“Clemency”).