Viola Davis made Oscar history today! But GOOD MORNING AMERICA didn't notice. The Oscar nominations came out this morning and I was thrilled. Movies that moved my soul are in the running. Movies about people of color. Movies like the poetically powerful MOONLIGHT and the historically significant, inspirational HIDDEN FIGURES. After two consecutive years of "Oscars So White," Black History was made in today's nominations. However, you didn't hear about it on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, the network morning news show that carried the nominations. Nothing against Christopher Connelly and Jess Cagle, two mighty fine guys who are veteran entertainment journalists, but can't a network morning news show hook a brotha up on Oscar nominations day? Connelly mentioned that three of this year's Best Picture Oscar nominees -- FENCES, HIDDEN FIGURES and MOONLIGHT -- plus the racial diversity of Oscar nominated actors overcome the "Oscars So White" problem. But he didn't mention specific history. Scroll down to my previous blog post ("Oscar Nominations Day") and I explain in a short video how Viola Davis is now the most Oscar-nominated black actress in Academy Awards history. Her Best Supporting Actress nomination for FENCES is her 3rd Oscar nomination.
For years, the only two black actresses in Hollywood history who had more than one Oscar nomination to their credits were Viola Davis and Whoopi Goldberg. Both women are on ABC shows. Please tell that to GMA, Chris Connelly and Jess Cagle.
The fabulous Mahershala Ali got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for MOONLIGHT.
Today, with his Best Actor Oscar nomination for FENCES, Denzel Washington became the African American actor with the most nominations in Oscar history. He's won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and a Best Actor Oscar. Today's nomination is his 7th. Denzel Washington also directed FENCES. There's some Black History for you.
African American playwright August Wilson won the Pulitzer Prize twice. Twice. Today, he got a posthumous Oscar nomination for his screenplay adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning FENCES.
The elegant African American filmmaker Barry Jenkins pulled off a triple play. His MOONLIGHT brought him Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Picture.
Ava DuVernay, the African American woman who should have been a Best Director Oscar nominee for 2014's SELMA, is an Oscar nominee in the Best Documentary category today for her critically acclaimed probe into the rampant virus of racism in America's prison system entitled 13th.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs broke with the longtime tradition of announcing the nominations live very early in the morning from the Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles. The nominations were announced on GOOD MORNING AMERICA and streamed online with past Oscar nominees telling how they felt when they learned of their nominations or what the arts of filmmaking mean to them. This may have frustrated publicists and other networks (NBC and CBS) but the presentation was sleek, sincere and smart. The male and female faces you saw represented white, African American, Latino, Asian and gay artists and audience members. I loved it. The presentation of the Oscar nominations was inclusive and diverse.
For more on the Oscars, go to Oscar.com. There's a lot of wonderful groundbreaking history for people of color in today's list of Oscar nominees. Oh, man, if I had been asked to participate with Robin Roberts today on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, I could have rocked with some Oscars history knowledge and insight.