Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas announced the nominations for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards early Monday morning, and in a year expected to yield several LGBTQ inclusive nominees, very few emerged.
Academy President Dave Rubin, a gay man, opened the announcement by sharing the news that this year’s Oscars would be taking place on Sunday, April 25th at both LA’s Union Station and its traditional home of the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
Amongst the LGBTQ-inclusive nominees, Viola Davis and Andra Day were both nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for playing real-life bisexual musical legends Ma Rainey and Billie Holliday, in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Lee Daniels’ The United States vs. Billie Holiday, respectively.
Pixar’s Onward was nominated for Animated Feature Film and featured Lena Waithe playing a queer character who referred to her girlfriend in a single line of dialogue.
And over in the Animated Short category, bisexual writer Travon Free was nominated for writing Two Distant Strangers, a 30-minute short film starring Joey Bada$$ as a guy reliving the same day over and over again but dying after encountering police racial violence.
Amongst the LGBTQ-inclusive contenders that were expected to receive nominations, but did not, were the documentary Welcome to Chechnya, which was snubbed in Best Documentary Feature and Best Visual Effects, after being short-listed in the former. Janelle Monáe was widely expected to be nominated in Best Original Song for “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy. France’s Two Of Us was snubbed as a nominee for Best International Feature. Pedro Almodóvar wasn’t nominated in Best Live Action Short for The Human Voice. And in the Animated Short category, neither Kapaemahu nor Pixar’s Out was nominated. There were no LGBTQ actors nominated in any acting category.
Acclaimed documentary Disclosure, about the history of transgender representation in film and television, did not make the short-list for Best Documentary Feature, which was announced in early February.
However, there were some overall bright spots, as the nominations were praised for having the most diverse acting slate in its history, with the first-ever Asian American actor nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Steven Yuen in Minari), the first person of Pakistani descent ever nominated for any acting Oscar (Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal), the first actor of color ever to earn a posthumous Oscar nomination (Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), and the first woman of color ever nominated for Best Director (Chloé Zhao for Nomadland). Alongside fellow nominee Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), this also marked the first year more than one woman has been nominated in the Best Director category.