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Critics Are Left Scratching Their Heads After the Academy Failed to Nominate JLo For Her Role in “Hustlers”

The Academy may not think Jennifer Lopez is worthy of an Oscar, but she’ll always be the winner in our hearts. On Wednesday morning, the 92nd annual Academy Awards were announced, leaving fans breathless as they waited to hear the name of Jennifer Lopez called among the nominees for “Best Supporting Actress”. Unfortunately, fans were left disappointed (and some furious) as the Puerto-Rican triple-threat was shut-out from the list of names.

Entering Oscar season, a Lopez nomination for her role in “Hustlers” was considered a sure-thing. Since the movie’s release, critics praised Lopez for her star-turn as savvy and maternal stripper Ramona in the heist drama. “Whether shaking her booty for braying patrons, philosophizing cynically about the American way or letting tenderness seep through her money-mad veneer, Lopez’s Ramona exudes power,” said NPR critic John Powers. “She’s the sun around which…the whole movie orbits.”

Not only did critics anticipate Lopez receiving a nomination, many were even expecting her to all-out win in the competitive category.

2019 was Lopez’s year to truly shine. Not only had she re-established herself as a force to be reckoned with as a serious actress, she also cemented her status as a global icon with her announcement as the co-headliner for the 2020 Superbowl, along with fellow Latina, Shakira. Not only that, she also got engaged to long-time boyfriend Alex Rodriguez in 2019, and announced that she was the face of Versace’s 2020 campaign in January. Lopez had never been more on top of the world.

There is much speculation swirling in Hollywood circles as they try to piece together why Lopez was so blatantly snubbed from the much-deserved recognition. Critics are theorizing that “Hustlers” as an Oscar film was too flashy and sexy to be taken seriously. Others are saying that Lopez’s celebrity status prevented her peers from recognizing her theatrical talent. And of course, there is a vocal contingent saying the Academy snubbed Lopez because she is a woman of color. 

To make matters worse, Lopez wasn’t the only person to be marginalized in the historically white male-dominated playing field. Female directors were completely shut-out from the race as well.

And although there were more female directors in 2019 than ever before, the Academy still refused to reconigze all the good work they are doing. Female directors like Greta Gerwig and Marielle Heller (for “Little Women” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, respectively) were lauded for their directorial prowess, but were nonetheless passed over in favor of old favorites like Martin Scorcsese (“The Irishman”) and Quentin Taratino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”). 

Throughout the awards season, Hollywood executives complained of low-attendance for female-directed movies as well as ones starring people of color (notable examples being “Queen and Slim” and “Little Women”). ”I don’t think that [men] came to the [‘Little Women”] screenings in droves, let me put it that way,” “Little Women” producer Amy Pascal recently told Vanity Fair about her critically-acclaimed film. “And I’m not sure when they got their [screener] DVDs that they watched them.”

Critics are taking the snubs as further proof that The Oscars are not only #sowhite, but also so male.

Although Hollywood insiders recognize the fact that a movie’s worth doesn’t come from arbitrary awards, they also insist that Oscar nominations are symbolic of the prevailing and unconscious biases of the Hollywood establishment. In other words, Hollywood has a diversity problem that transcends the scope of the Oscars. 

But if there is any consolation for the widespread disappointment that fans and critics alike are experiencing after the Oscar nominations, it’s that the backlash to the nominees might stir real actions on the part of Hollywood insiders. It’s hard to talk about wanting change for so long without committing to doing it yourself. 

Naturally, Twitter users had some strong opinions about this year’s Oscar nominations. 

If there’s one place on the internet where people go to vent their frustration loudly and publicly, it’s Twitter. 

Of course, the “I don’t know her” jokes were frequent and plenty.

Sadly, this GIF works too well. We actually think that the entire history of this meme was leading up to this moment.

This person pointed out how the only person of color nominated was for playing a slave. As usual.

FACTS. Yes, we love Cynthia Erivo, but there’s more to the black experience than being a slave.

People were revealing the many ways they were paying tribute to their queen.

Honestly, this one is bigger honor than any stupid award can provide.

This person called out the Academy for the obvious discrimination against people of color.

Coincidence? I think not.

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