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Award Nominations

Broadway Black Stars Shine In 89th Academy Award Nominations

Jazmine Harper-Davis

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There’s always a silver lining, right? After this whirlwind of the past few days with the Inauguration of an unqualified reality star to lead our country, millions of women marching around the world for equal rights, white people making up a new name for lying (“alternative facts”), the Academy Award nominations brightened things up a bit.

Announced last Tuesday, we were so pleased to see many of our Broadway Black favorites make the list this year, some even making history.

Moonlight managed to rack up a total of eight nominations including: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Tarell Alvin McCraney & Barry Jenkins), Best Director (Barry Jenkins), Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris), Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.

The acclaimed film adaptation of Fences garnered a Best Picture nomination along with Best Actor in a Leading Role (Denzel Washington), Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis), Best Adapted Screenplay (August Wilson).

Hidden Figures scored three nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer). Someone must have forgotten to include Taraji P. Henson’s name on the ballots.

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Ruth Negga received a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her nuanced and remarkable performance in Loving.

Another breakthrough for African-American filmmakers was the documentary category with four of the five nominations going to directors of African descent (13th, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated & OJ Made In America).

While Hollywood will quickly pat themselves on the back and try to say this isn’t a repeat of #OscarsSoWhite, the work is far from over. So, you nominated seven actors of color (including Lion’s Dev Patel) out of a possible 20 nominees? Good for you, Hollywood. You go, Glenn Coco.

This so-called “drought,” as Deadline wrote, is far from over. There shouldn’t be any reason Halle Berry is still the last — and only — Black actress to have won in the lead actress category. Viola Davis shouldn’t have to campaign for Best Supporting Actress to increase her odds of winning when Best Actress should definitely be hers — she has a Tony for Best Leading Actress for the same role.

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Image: David Lee/Paramount Pictures/REX/Shutterstock

Barry Jenkins is only the fourth Black director to get the esteemed Best Director nomination in the category’s history and, for the first time ever, three films with majority Black casts have been nominated for Best Picture.

This also marks the first time three Black writers received nominations for Adapted Screenplay, including the late August Wilson, in the same year. His posthumous nomination is enough to bring tears to my eyes.

It’s 2017. And while Hollywood wants to say “the drought is over” when we’re just breaking the mold in 2017, we still have such a long way to go.

After the backlash of only 20 white actors in performance categories two years in a row, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took action to help increase the diversity of its governing board and voting members.

Watch The Oscars LIVE! to see Viola Davis earn her O, snatch a wig or two, and make her way to EGOT status, Sunday, February 26, 7 PM EST/4 PM PST, only on ABC.

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Award Nominations

Cynthia Erivo Nominated for BAFTA’s Rising Star Award

Drew Shade

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Cynthia Erivo at Opening Night of the Color Purple. Photo by Drew Shade

Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo, known for her transformative performance as Celie in the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple is now one of five actors nominated for the British Academy of Film’s 2019 Rising Star Awards.

Most recently seen alongside Viola Davis in Steve McQueen’s Widows, Erivo says:

“I’m ever grateful to BAFTA and the jury panel for nominating me for the 2019 EE Rising Star Award. It means the world to me to be acknowledged by the community that, for most of my life, I’ve known as home. Thank you for this incredible honour.” – Cynthia Erivo

The BAFTA Awards will take place on February 10th.

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Award Nominations

Audra McDonald and Will Swenson To Host The 2017 Drama League Awards

Jerrica White

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drama league

Broadway couple Audra McDonald and Will Swenson will host the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards. What a perfect selection, it’s almost like we came up with it!

All jokes aside, we’re in the middle of awards season and anticipation runs high as we celebrate the work of our community all the way up until Tonys night on June 11.

In the weeks up to the Tonys, it can be hard to differentiate one award from the other. The Drama League Awards are unique in that they hinge on the Distinguished Performance Award. In a category of over 50 performers, this award goes to one artist a year, and can only be won once in an artist’s lifetime.

The Drama League previously announced its 2017 Special Recognition Honorees: the legendary Bette Midler will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; Bill Berloni will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award for his work in animal training for Broadway, and Michael Greif will receive the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.

The 83rd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon includes a nominees cocktail reception, luncheon, and awards presentation and will be held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in the Broadway Ballroom (1535 Broadway) on Friday, May 19, 2017, beginning at 11:30 am. Tony winners Patina Miller and Bebe Neuwirth announced nominations for the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards on April 19th at New York’s famed Sardi’s.

For a complete list of 2017 nominees click HERE.

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