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The Recent History of POC Snubs

Writer: Christiana Zidor

Editor: Hazfia Samith

Graphic Designer: Maulina Gheananta

From the Grammys to the Oscars, well-respected artists such as Angela Bassett and Beyoncé have been snubbed from receiving high-profile awards that are then presented to their white counterparts.

At the recent 2023 Oscars, Twitter grew ablaze as many watched Angela Bassett lose “Best Supporting Actress,” to Jamie Lee Curtis, in her role as Deirdre Beaubeirdre in “Everything Everywhere all at once.” Tweets presenting Bassett’s performance in ”Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” as Queen Ramonda generated up to 4.6 Million views. Additionally, Bassett faced backlash for her tearful reaction when learning she did not win the award.

However, prestigious awards have been barred from black entertainers for decades, and heightened recently.

At the Grammys last month, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter was able to secure the title of the person with the most-awarded Grammys with her win with “Best Electronic Dance Album” for her Renaissance album. However, with the biggest award of the night; “Album of the Year”(AOTY), she was beaten by pop star Harry Styles, with his album “Harry’s House.” Although she’s the artist with the most Grammy wins, she has yet to win album of the Year. Note that she was also snubbed from the 2015 Grammy awards with her self-titled album Beyonce, losing AOTY to Beck with his album “Morning Phase.”

It is now evident that Institutions such as the Oscars and Grammys have shown their preference for white actors and musicians, and disregarded their black counterparts.

In 2015 and 2016, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trended after the lack of representation in the major categories of the event, with only white actors being nominated. The lack of nominations reached the height of its impact in 2016, with Jada Pinkett Smith announcing that she would be boycotting the Oscars in protest of the lack of diversity among nominees. Her husband, Will Smith, had been overlooked for his role in the film "Concussion." Not only limited to actors, movies with a predominantly black cast and/or production such as “Nope,” “The Woman King,” and “Till” were not nominated in the 2023 Oscars. Due to these films failing to be recognized, the infamous hashtag grew once again.

With the continuous disregard for black pieces of media and artists, it’s important to understand that black films, actors, and musicians are still successful even without receiving one of these awards, or being withheld from them. Rihanna, who has won Grammys for songs such as “Umbrella” and “All of the Lights,” was nominated for 8 Grammy awards and won none following the release of ANTI in 2017. Rihanna went on to grow a makeup line that revolutionized the inclusivity shades, eventually making Fenty Beauty a billion-dollar business. Samuel L. Jackson, known to many as “Nick Fury” has yet to win an Oscar, but has successfully made himself known as he features in movies such as Avengers: Endgame (highest grossing movie of all time) and a majority of successful Marvel movies.

The Grammys and Oscars may be biased towards people who are non-POC, but people of color have always made their presence known, with or without an Oscar or Grammy.




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