Angela Bassett IS NOT Just Responding To Her Oscar Loss

Veritas Culture
7 min readMar 14

Okay, so Angela Bassett did not demonstrate thrill at losing a competitive Oscar. Why can’t she just be happy that she was nominated and be happy for the recipient Jamie Lee Curtis?

Let’s explore.

A Telling Direct-ion

It is 2023 and not a single Black woman has been nominated for Best Director at the Oscar’s. Over the past five years, women have seen compounding gains in this category, both in wins and nominations. For example:

  • In 2019, Greta Gerwig was nominated for Best Director.
  • In 2020, two women were nominated for Best Director, one of them (Chloe Zhao) won. Chloe was the first woman of color to win Best Director.
  • In 2021, another woman (Jane Campion) won Best Director.

Prior to these gender gains in the Directors race, only four other women directors had even been nominated for a directing Oscar: Linda Wertmüller in 1977, Jane Campion in 1993, Sofia Coppola in 2003, and Kathryn Bigelow in 2009. In other words, we shouldn’t be celebrating four women being nominated since 2019, but considering the landscape over the first several decades of Oscar history, the momentum is hard to ignore.

Outside of gender and prior to this years dual win for the The Daniels, only one white male has won Best Director since 2012: Damien Chazelle for La La Land in 2006. Every other year, that prize has gone to Ang Lee, Alfonso Cuaron (twice), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (twice), Guillermo Del Toro, and Bong Joon-Ho. For that matter, Best Director nominees have been more diverse, what with Steve McQueen, Jordan Peele, Barry Jenkins, Lee Isaac Chung, and Ryusuke Hamaguchi all being nominated in the last 10 years. All non-white directors and, compared to the prior decades, a monumental shift.

In all of that, guess who has NOT been nominated for Best Director. A Black woman.

A Sour Note

Do you know who the last 10 Album of the Year recipients have been at the Grammy’s?

Harry Styles, Jon Batiste, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Kacey Musgraves, Bruno Mars, Adele, Taylor Swift, Beck, Daft Punk.

Veritas Culture

Two Culture and Diversity-to-Belonging Facilitators and Assessors. Focused on changing hearts and minds so that we can change the culture.