Oscars recognise LGBTQ talent in nominees list, but Gaga snubbed


Oscar-nominated LGBTQ talent: Kristen Stewart in Spencer (Pic: Pablo Larraín), Ariana DeBose in West Side Story, and the film Flee

This year’s Oscars could see both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories being won by out queer performers.

The nominees for the 94th Annual Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday by Tracee Ellis Ross and Leslie Jordan, and featured some LGBTQ standouts.

As widely predicted, queer star Kristen Stewart was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her acclaimed portrayal of Princess Diana in Spencer.

Many were surprised that Lady Gaga was ignored by the Academy in the category, despite a positive critical response to her performance as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci.

Gaga responded to the snub with grace, congratulating all the nominees for their “hard work, dedication, your nomination and YOUR magic,” adding that “you all deserve major recognition for what was a truly beautiful landscape of performances and accomplishments this past year.”

In the Supporting Actress category, Ariana DeBose – who also identifies as queer – was acknowledged for her portrayal of Anita in the musical West Side Story.

If DeBose wins, she would become the first-ever out queer woman of colour to win an Academy Award.

“I am absolutely overjoyed by this morning’s news,” wrote DeBose on Instagram about her nomination. She said that “to be recognised alongside such incredible women for their inspiring performances is surreal…”

Directed by Steven Spielberg, West Side Story was also nominated for Best Picture.

The LGBTQ-themed Danish animated film Flee scored Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film nominations this year, believed to be a first.

Directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, the powerful docudrama tells the true story of a gay man named Amin Nawabi from Afghanistan and his experiences as a refugee fleeing persecution.

The Guardian said the film is “an extraordinary story” while The Washington Post called it “mesmerising.”

US LGBTQ media organisation GLAAD noted that despite the breadth of eligible LGBTQ talent and storytelling in Hollywood, “queer directors, screenwriters and performers are few and far between when it comes to the 94th Annual Academy Award nominees.”

It added that, “This year marks an improvement in LGBTQ representation among Oscar nominees compared to last, but there’s certainly room for improvement.”

The complete lists of nominees can be found here. The 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, 27 March at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.


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