If you were already upset about the Oscars snubbing Selma by skipping over the picture for Best Director and Best Actor nominations, then this will just feel like salt in the wound.
On their Instagram account, the Academy congratulated Selma on its nomination for Best Picture. Nice enough, right? Except that they identified the wrong actress in the photo: They captioned a picture of actress Tessa Thompson as her co-star Carmen Ejogo. They deleted the gaffe, but not before screengrabs had been widely circulated on social media. Really, guys? Really? (BTW: This isn’t the first time Oscar’s Instagrammers have mistaken two actresses. Last year they misidentified Penelope Cruz as Salma Hayek.)
Here’s a screengrab of the original Instagram posted last week, which one Twitter user captured and shared with the world.
The mistake hasn’t done much to help with the heaping amounts of criticism the Academy is facing for their lack of diverse nominees and for overlooking critically-acclaimed Selma in several categories. David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King, Jr., was passed over for a nomination, as was the film’s director, Ava DuVernay.
As Vulture’s E. Alex Jung noted of the Insta-gaffe, “the screw-up seems to confirm suspicions that there’s a general lack of respect for the film.” Meanwhile, Twitter user Azie Mira Dungey posted a link to the Academy’s mix-up of two black actresses and quipped: “Cause we all look alike!”
She’s not alone in pointing out ignorance on the part of the Academy. After the Oscars announced this year’s picks, the lack of diversity sparked a backlash, prompting the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. How white are the Oscars this year? For the first time since 1998, there were no actors of color nominated in any of the four categories (despite having many excellent performances to choose from by non-white actors).
The president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is herself African-American, declined to comment directly, but noted to the Associated Press that she hoped to see more diversity in nominees.
“Personally, I would love to see and look forward to see a greater cultural diversity among all our nominees in all of our categories,” she said.
I think we all can agree on that.