The 93rd Academy Awards is scheduled to take place on April 25th in Los Angeles, CA (two months after it’s usual air date). Televised by ABC Network and shown in more than 225 countries worldwide, films most prestigious award just recently announced their nominations for the 2021 Oscar season.
While many of the films and actors that we expected to catch the attention of the Academy, were indeed nominated – we couldn’t help but notice that there was a lack of consideration given to LGBTQ+ artist and films.
Viola Davis (who made history as the most nominated black actor in Oscar history) was able to snag a Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of trailblazing 1920’s blues singer, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey. While Davis is heterosexual and happily married – the character she portrayed in the film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was openly bisexual. Davis’s poignant portrayal of the blues icon was certainly worthy of a nomination, despite the film failing to be recognized in the Best Picture category.
Andra Day was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her mesmerizing performance as Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. I’m sure that win helped the 36 year old singer secure a nomination for Best Actress at this years Oscars. Holiday was openly bisexual, with well documented affairs with both men and women – most notably with Broadway actress Tallulah Bankhead.
Missing from the nominations this year were openly gay artist who turned out on-the-edge of your seat, memorable performances.
Jodie Foster (who is a two time Oscar winning actress) was notably left out of The Best Supporting Actress category, despite winning the Golden Globe for her role as Nancy Hollander in The Mauritanian – making her the first actress in 44 years to not receive the corresponding Oscar nomination after receiving the aforementioned accolade.
Singer/Songwriter/Actress Janelle Monae failed to garner the attention of the Academy Awards voters for her original song she composed for the film All In: The Fight For Democracy. The “Turntables” song failed to make the cut, despite Monae’s live performance at last years ceremony. Monae identifies as Pansexual.
One of the biggest snubs of this years Oscars has to be Jim Parsons and the film The Boys In The Band. Parsons was not only overlooked for his stern, tormented and passionate performance as the dramatic “Michael” in the film – but The Boys In The Band was shut out in its entirety from the nominations.
The successful and Tony award winning Broadway show was adapted into film with Ryan Murphy serving as producer. With Hollywood heavyweights like Murphy, Parsons and Matt Bomer attached to the film – Netflix made a big push for the piece to score at this years ceremony. But sadly, there will be no Oscar glory for this dramatic masterpiece.
Ian McKellen – who gained international fame for his role in The Lord of The Rings movies, publicly called out the Academy in 2016 for it’s lack of diversity debate, stating that homophobia is as much a problem as racism in Hollywood.
“No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance”.
Although the Oscars voting window was extended by two months due to the global pandemic, they still seem to have missed the mark when it comes to diversity and inclusion. For a ceremony being broadcasted to more than 225 countries, should the Academy make a more conscious decision to include LGBTQ+ talent in their discussions for Oscar worthy winners?
All images courtesy of the Instagram accounts of the films, studios and the performers: @usvsbillieholiday, @maraineyfilm, @themauritanian, @netflix, @janellemonae