One of the biggest snubs at the 2015 Oscars was Selma, the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic starring David Oyelowo. Despite its critical praise and timeliness in light of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the film only earned two nominations — one for Best Picture and one for Best Original Song. Although the publicly displayed frustration felt by many has died down a bit, the film’s director was still understandably hurt by the snub.
During the the Berlin premiere of the film, Ava DuVernay remarked on the red carpet to AP, via The Huffington Post:
I was hurt by the fact that David wasn't nominated because I know what it took to get that performance. I don't need anyone to tell me that it's one of the best performances of 2014; no one needs to even say that to me because I already know.
Though it sounds like she’s putting this whole mess behind her, she also spoke about the lack of female African-American talent in the Best Directing category. This year, the nominees proved to be a point of controversy, as they were predominantly white men. While Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) all deserve to be included, this particular snub still came as a blow. As DuVernay said:
There has been no precedent for a black woman to be nominated for best director, so why was it going to change with me?
However, she is extremely thankful for the nominations the film did receive. Along with seven other films, including Whiplash, The Theory of Everything and American Sniper, Selma entered the Best Picture race. Elsewhere, John Legend and Common’s "Glory," which they performed as the finale to the 2015 Grammys, is up for Best Original Song. So far, "Glory" has earned awards from the Golden Globes, Broadcast Film Critics and Georgia Film Critics. As for the other categories, only five nominees are allowed in the final running. So Oyelowo, for one, couldn’t very well been in that sixth slot, which is still impressive.
Earlier last week, the actor criticized the Academy for generally honoring black actors and actresses for when they take on "subservient" roles. As he said, "we have been slaves" (likely referring to Chiwetel Ejiofor’s nomination for 12 Years a Slave), "domestic servants" (such as Octavia Spencer’s Best Supporting Actress win for The Help) and "criminals" (such as Barkhad Abdi’s nomination for Captain Phillips). "But we’ve been leaders, we’ve been kings," he continued, expressing how difficult it is to get those films made.