The best actress Oscar nomination in 2021 of Viola Davis' for performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom made her the most nominated Black actress in the history of the Academy Awards. In the year 2017, Viola Davis had won the Oscar in the supporting actress category for her performance in Fences. In 2009 she had been nominated in the same category for her performance in Doubt. She had competed in the category of best actress in the year 2012, for her performance in The Help.
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer had previously been tied at three nominations. Meanwhile, Whoopi Goldberg had a supporting actress win for her performance in Ghost and also scored the best actress nomination for The Color Purple.
Set to create another record
In 2021, if Viola Davis goes on to win the Oscar, she would create another record to be the only Black woman with multiple Oscars, and just the second Black woman to win the best actress Oscar. Prior to her it was Halle Berry who had become the first black woman to win in the category, in 2002, for the film Monster's Ball.
2021 will also be the second time when two black women will be competing for the best place at the Oscars. The last time such a historic moment took place was in the year1973 when Cecily Tyson and Diana Ross were nominated for Sounder and Lady Sings the Blues, respectively.
Actress Lupita Nyong's big win as the Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 2014 had also been well-noted. It was also the year when 12 Years A Slave had won the Oscar in the nine categories, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Viola Davis during her interaction with Variety said, "For me, it's a reflection of the lack of opportunities and access to opportunities people of color have had in this business. If me, going back to the Oscars four times in 2021, makes me the most nominated Black actress in history, that's a testament to the sheer lack of material there has been out there for artists of color."