‘The Woman King’ Director Gina Prince-Bythewood Says Oscar Snub ‘Speaks to Such a Bigger Issue’

Gina Prince-Bythewood believes her film The Woman King deserved better.

via: Complex

In an interview with People at a pre-Oscar dinner on Wednesday, the filmmaker made it clear how she felt about The Woman King not getting a single Oscar nomination. “I’ll never get over it, because what happened was egregious and … it speaks to such a bigger issue in our industry,” said Prince-Bythewood, who made her directorial debut with Love & Basketball in 2000.

“But [it also speaks to] who I am, the people around me, these actors,” she continued. “We will never take our foot off the gas. We’re ready to do something next. We’re ready to do something as big, we’re ready to do something together. So we always keep that energy no matter what happens.” Viola Davis’ performance in the film was acclaimed by critics, but she was shut out of the Best Actress nominations. Meanwhile, not a single woman was nominated for Best Director.

The Woman King features an all-star cast including Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim, and John Boyega among others. When it debuted in theaters last year, the historical action drama was met with positive reviews and achieved modest success at the box office.

In an essay written for The Hollywood Reporter last month, Prince-Bythewood described the snub as an “eye-opener” for her. “The Academy made a very loud statement, and for me to stay quiet is to accept that statement,” she wrote. “So I agreed to speak up, on behalf of Black women whose work has been dismissed in the past, is dismissed now like Alice Diop and Saint Omer, Chinonye Chukwu and Till—and for those who haven’t even stepped on a set yet.”

The 95th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be presented on Sunday, March 12.

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