The award-winning filmmaker's comments came after the biopic — which tells the real-life story of Mamie Till-Mobley as she fought for justice for her son, Emmett Till, after he was lynched in 1955 — received no nominations in any Academy Award category this year, despite receiving nods from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Critics Choice Awards, and British Academy Film Awards.
"We live in a world and work in industries that are so aggressively committed to upholding whiteness and perpetuating an unabashed misogyny towards Black women," Chukwu wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. "And yet. I am forever in gratitude for the greatest lesson of my life — regardless of any challenges or obstacles, I will always have the power to cultivate my own joy, and it is this joy that will continue to be one of my greatest forms of resistance."
With her statement, Chukwu posted a photo of herself smiling next to civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, who is portrayed by actress Jayme Lawson in the film.
While insiders did not expect Till to earn Best Picture or Best Director nominations due to its lack of buzz on the precursor circuit, many thought Danielle Deadwyler's portrayal of Till's mother would garner her a Best Actress nod given that she has secured similar nominations at the SAG Awards, the Critics Choice Awards, and the BAFTA Awards. Instead, this year's Academy Awards nominees in that category are Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas, Andrea Riseborough, Michelle Williams, and Michelle Yeoh.
Deadwyler wasn't the only Best Actress contender left off the final list — Viola Davis' powerful performance in The Woman King was also omitted. And in the Best Director category, no female directors were nominated despite Chukwu's Till, Charlotte Wells' Aftersun, and Sarah Polley's Women Talking all receiving positive reviews and recognition over the past year.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images 'Till' director Chinonye Chukwu
"Before we start off, we just want to celebrate the talented artists and filmmakers who were nominated for Oscars this morning," she said. "Unfortunately, my film Till was not nominated, but we do want to congratulate all the nominees, because many of them have been here and it's wonderful to say congrats, so that's what we'll do."
The 95th Academy Awards will air Sunday, March 12, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. See the full list of 2023 Oscar nominations here.
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