Film Academy called out on Twitter after Hattie McDaniel appreciation tweet
The Academy tweeted out a tribute to McDaniel, as well as footage of her historic acceptance speech at the 12th annual ceremony
Twitter has some thoughts for the Film Academy. After the academy recently tweeted out a tribute to Hattie McDaniel, fans immediately called out the institution, recalling how she was forced to sit far away at a “special table” during the ceremony when she won Best Supporting Actress in 1939 for Gone with the Wind.
In the now-infamous post, The Academy tweeted a video of McDaniel, who made history as the first Black actor to be nominated and win an Academy Award. With a simple description, they wrote, “Hattie McDaniel in 1939’s epic Civil War drama, Gone With the Wind. McDaniel, who received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her performance, made history at the 12th Academy Awards by becoming the first African American to be nominated and to win an Oscar.”
The Academy replied to the tweet with a quote from McDaniel’s famous Oscar speech: “This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of the awards for your kindness.”
Twitter, of course, came with receipts. Many users tweeted at the Academy, calling out the fact that even on the day she won the Oscar, McDaniel was faced with racism, as she had to sit far away from all of the other nominees.
Due to segregation at the time, McDaniel was technically not allowed to sit inside the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in The Ambassador Hotel. After producer David O. Selznick called in a favor on behalf of the actress, she sat with her escort, F.P. Yober, and her agent William Meiklejohn at a small table, far away from the Gone With the Wind table.
One user wrote, “Now tweet where she was seated and what entrance she had to use that night to accept the Oscar. Go ahead. Since you celebrating.” The same user continued with a follow-up tweet, writing, “I will forever celebrate Hattie McDaniel and other Black Oscar winners for their legacy and contributions to Black history but I will also always side-eye TF outta the Oscars for how poorly they’ve treated Black people and Black art for almost a century. Miss me with it.”
Another seemed to share, “Y’all gon talk about the disrespect she endured that night too ?? Also how y’all only give Oscars to black ppl when we play secondary roles that are degrading??”
In an upcoming biopic, Raven Goodwin has been tapped to play the historic actress. Goodwin shared at the time of her casting announcement, “I am forever honored. I look forward to bringing this important historical and relevant life story to the screen.”
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