Oscars: A word from the nominees

Lapacazo Sandoval | 1/26/2017, midnight
Cheryl Boone Isaacs and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are people of their word, as witnessed by ...
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in "Fences" Contributed

Cheryl Boone Isaacs and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are people of their word, as witnessed by the 2017 Oscar nominee announcements. It was so inclusive that the nominations made a historic mark with three women of color powerfully breaking through a thick glass ceiling that some thought impossible.

True to most industry predictions “La La Land” dominated the nominations, earning 14, including actor, actress, director and picture. “Arrival” and “Moonlight” each have eight nominations. Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” “I Am Not Your Negro” and “O.J.: Made in America,” among Best Documentary Feature nominees, continues the explosive conversation about race in the United States. And for the first time in Oscar history, three nominees in a single category are African-American: Viola Davis for “Fences,” Naomie Harris for “Moonlight” and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer for “Hidden Figures”—all competing under the Best Supporting Actress category at the 89th Annual Academy Awards.

Also, people of color making their mark are Dev Patel (“Lion”), Denzel Washington (“Fences”), Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) and Ruth Negga (“Loving”), getting acting nominations. Clearly the 89th Academy Awards is filled with color and most definitely not going to earn an ugly hashtag for being so white.

Here is what some of the nominees and others had to share about the nominations:

Raoul Peck (“I Am Not Your Negro”)

“I’m grateful and joyful to be nominated for ‘I Am Not Your Negro.’ All of our partners and the entire team are joining me to thank the Academy members who participated in the vote of this incredibly humbling nomination. We would like to thank especially the James Baldwin Estate and Gloria Karefa-Smart, James Baldwin’s sister. Baldwin had developed a clear narrative about America’s historical denial and irrational relationship with race and articulated it freely in the media during his lifetime. I‘m not sure this kind of raw and profound expression would be tolerated today—even though it is more than ever necessary. I want to congratulate the other nominees who have made amazing films, most of whom are dear friends. Thank you.”

Denzel Washington (“Fences”)

“Thank you to the Academy for this wonderful recognition and for honoring August Wilson’s brilliant words. I am just lucky to have been entrusted with this project and to have the chance to work with the amazing Viola Davis and the rest of my talented cast and crew.”

Viola Davis (“Fences”)

“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it. Thank you Denzel for being at the helm!” 

Todd Black, producer (“Fences”)

 “I could not be more excited and grateful to the Academy for recognizing our film. Extending my congratulations to Denzel and Viola and the rest of the fantastic cast and crew of “Fences” who brought the words of August Wilson to life. This is a very special day, and I am just thrilled right now.”

Constanza Romero Wilson, wife of August Wilson

“I am overjoyed that August’s work is being recognized, and that millions of people are getting the chance to see ‘Fences.’ I feel he would be incredibly proud of the love and care that everyone involved, especially Denzel, invested to make this film possible.”