Actress/singer Jennifer Hudson has received no end of praise for her performance as Aretha Franklin in Respect.
However, if Hudson is nominated for Best Actress and Best Original Song for Respect, she will become the first Black woman to be nominated in three individual categories, per NBC News.
She’s been nominated for Best Actress and Best Original Song at the SAG Awards, Golden Globes, NAACP Image Awards, Grammys, Society of Composers & Lyricists, Black Reel Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and the African American Film Critics Association.
While “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home),” which Hudson co-wrote with Carole King and Jamie Alexander Hartman, is a sure thing in the Best Original Song category, nothing is ever certain in the acting nominations.
Oscar history is full of performances that should have been recognized, but weren’t. This is especially true for Black actors.
She previously won Best Supporting Actress in 2006 for playing Effie White in Dreamgirls.
Three Black women have been nominated in two individual categories. Viola Davis and Whoopi Goldberg for Actress and Supporting Actress, and Oprah Winfrey for Supporting Actress and Best Picture.
Just for comparison, Warren Beatty and George Clooney have been recognized in six categories, while Spike Lee has been nominated in five. Of course, he didn’t win until 2019, when he was finally given the award for Adapted Screenplay for BlacKKKlansman.
As nice as it is to say Jennifer Hudson can break records, it’s also ridiculous that it’s 2022 and Black women are just getting to three individual categories.
The number really highlights how Black women have not been given the chance to be actors/writers/directors/producers like men such as Beatty, Clooney and Lee.
By the way, we all know if Hudson is lucky enough to receive two Oscar nominations, there’s no way the Academy would ever let her win both. She might get one, but two in the same night!?
We want nothing but the best for Jennifer Hudson and Respect, and we will celebrate all her achievements. However, let’s not pretend like this so-called record is a huge step forward for Black women in the industry.