Many viewers took to Twitter following today’s Oscars announcement to lament the conspicuous absence of a name – Viola Davis. The actress, best known for her roles in ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ and ‘The Suicide Squad,’ received no credit for her work in 2022’s historical epic ‘The Woman King.’ Davis starred as General Nanisca, the leader of an all-female militia called the Agojie tasked with protecting the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the early 19th century.
Davis was nominated for numerous awards for her portrayal of Nanisca, including a Golden Globe, a Critics’ Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a British Academy Film Award (BAFTA). Therefore, her absence from the Best Actress category is undeniably surprising. “You guys really snubbed Viola Davis……” wrote @midnightsyonces on Twitter while @ljoseghine exclaimed, “VIOLA DAVIS WAS ROBBED.” Indeed, the academy’s Twitter mentions were full of fans lamenting Davis’ overlooked performance, including many @skylinescotty ask, “Where’s Viola Davis?”
It’s worth noting that Andrea Riseborough’s powerful and celebrity-backed Oscar campaign for To Leslie has always had to edge out one of the names in the popular competition for the Best Actress award (as IndieWire reported earlier this year). It would be unfair to say outright that Riseborough took Davis straight out of the competition; however, as Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”), Olivia Coleman (“Empire of Light”), Margot Robbie (“Babylon”), Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Menu”), Emma Thompson (“Good Luck, Leo Grande”) and Lesley Manville (“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”) were all eliminated when the race narrowed down to a handful of names.