Viola Davis Makes Oscar History, Becomes The Most-Nominated Black Actress

So inspiring!

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas announced the Oscar nominations early Monday morning, and it goes without saying that they were replete with surprises and some snubs.

Many stars made history with the Oscar nominations 2021. One of them being the indomitable Viola Davis. The 55-year-old performer received the best actress Oscar nomination for her work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. In doing so, she became the award show’s most-nominated Black actress of all time.

Moreover, Viola Davis is also the only Black woman with two Best Actress nominations under her belt.

About Viola Davis’ previous Oscar nominations

Viola Davis has previously received acting nods for her performances in Doubt (2008), The Help (2011) and Fences (2016).

She won a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Doubt and Fences, the latter of which she won. Her role in The Help, on the other hand, landed her a Best Actress nom.

Viola Davis’ recent Oscar nomination breaks her tie with Octavia Spencer, who has three nominations (Hidden FiguresThe Shape of Water and The Help) to her credit. Both the actresses have won a Supporting Actress trophy.

Besides these two, the only other actress to have multiple nominations to her credit is Whoopi Goldberg. She earned nods for The Color Purple and Ghost, winning the Academy Award for the latter in 1991.

While Davis’ milestone is definitely a cause for celebration, it also highlights how the Oscars still have a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity.

“For me, it’s a reflection of the lack of opportunities and access to opportunities people of color have had in this business,” Davis told Variety about her recent achievement.

“If me, going back to the Oscars four times in 2021, makes me the most nominated Black actress in history, that’s a testament to the sheer lack of material there has been out there for artists of color,” she rightly said.

Halle Berry is the only Black woman to have won an Academy Award for Best Actress. Meanwhile, with eight Oscar nominations (including two wins), Denzel Washington remains the most-nominated Black performer of all time. Morgan Freeman follows next with five nominations (and one win).

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