It seems as if last year’s #OscarsSoWhite backlash has had a marked effect on this year’s pool of projects and talent considered and honored as the 2017 awards season gets underway.
The 2017 Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning, and nominees of color were found in the majority of film and television categories. Indie film sensation “Moonlight”not only garnered a nod for Best Motion Picture, Drama, but also for directing and screenwriting by Barry Jenkins, in the Best Actress category for Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali was recognized in the supporting actor category.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were honored for their performances in “Fences”, Ruth Negga was nominated for her leading role in “Loving,” and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer grabbed a nomination for her supporting role in the upcoming space race drama “Hidden Figures.” Additionally, Pharrell Williams is in the running for Best Original Score — Motion Picture, for his work on the music for “Hidden Figures.”
On the television side, Donald Glover‘s “Atlanta” received nods in two categories; Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Anthony Anderson provides some competition for Glover in the acting category, and “Black-ish” is nominated for Best Comedy Television Series as well. Tracee Ellis Ross gained a nod in the Lead Comedy Actress category, as did “Insecure” star Issa Rae.
In limited series, actress Thandie Newton was nominated for Westworld, and Kerry Washington‘s portrayal of Anita Hill in “Confirmation” was also acknowledged. Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance gained a nod for his work as Johnny Cochran in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”and the series was nominated in the Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category alongside Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley’s “American Crime.”
Anita Hill, the University Professor of Law in the Heller Graduate School of Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, has been selected as the 10th recipient of the Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy, and Tolerance. The honor, awarded by the University of California, Merced, comes with a $10,000 prize.
Professor Hill will be honored on October 24 in Merced, 25 years after she testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, alleging sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas who was a nominee for the Supreme Court. Hill worked for Thomas at the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Sherrie Spendlove, who established the award in honor of her parents, stated that “Anita Hill is a powerful role model for having the courage and the integrity to step up and speak the truth, for her calm dignity in holding to her truth in the face of vicious attacks and for her steadfastness in dedicating her life to teaching, mentoring, educating and enlightening young people in the tenets of social justice.”
Kerry Washington, the star of Shonda Rhimes’ wildly popular Thursday-night show Scandal, is about to get even bigger with a new project on HBO.
Washingtonhas been announced as the star of an upcoming TV movie about Anita Hill, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The telepic, which is being developed by HBO Films and has a tentative title of Confirmation, will chronicle the nomination hearings held for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Thomas’ nomination that year by the first President Bush shook up the country after Hill accused the judge of sexual harassment in a leaked FBI interview. Hill was grilled by Senators about the allegations at Thomas’ confirmation hearing and lambasted by the judge himself.
Washington will play the part of Anita Hill and writer Susannah Grant will be responsible for the script and executive producing the project. Washington herself will also work as an executive producer alongside the CEO of Groundswell Productions, Michael London, and the company’s production president, Janice Williams.
Hollywood Reporter claims that the HBO project could take precedence over Washington’s role in a feature film called Unforgettable while she’s currently away from the Scandal set.
The news comes as HBO readies the rollout of its internet-streaming service HBO Go and plans for the next season of the sprawling fantasy show Game of Thrones.
WALTHAM, Mass. — On the day in 1991 that the Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, Anita Hill — the little-known law professor who riveted the nation by accusing him of sexual harassment — faced news cameras outside her simple brick home in Norman, Okla., with her mother by her side, and politely declined to comment on the vote. In the nearly 23 years since, Ms. Hill, now a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University, has worked hard, she likes to say, to help women “find their voices.” She has also found hers — and she is not afraid to use it.
“I believe in my heart that he shouldn’t have been confirmed,” she said in a recent interview, acknowledging that it irritates her to see Justice Thomas on the court. “I believe that the information I provided was clear, it was verifiable, it was confirmed by contemporaneous witnesses that I had talked with. And I think what people don’t understand is that it does go to his ability to be a fair and impartial judge.”
It was a surprisingly candid comment from a deeply private woman who has long been careful in the spotlight. But the quiet life Ms. Hill has carved out for herself is about to be upended — by her own choice — with the release of a documentary, Anita, opening on March 21 in theaters in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.