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Viola Davis has become the most nominated Black actress in Oscars history

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Viola Davis has has become the most nominated Black actress in Oscars history after she picked up a nod for Best Actress today (March 15).

  • READ MORE: Oscars 2021 nominations – see the full list

The actress received her fourth nomination for playing the lead role in Netflix‘s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at a ceremony earlier alongside Andra Day, Vanessa Kirby, Frances McDormand and Carey Mulligan.

She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2017 for Fences, after being nominated in that category in 2009 for her work in Doubt. She’s also competed for Best Actress before, in 2012, for playing maid Aibileen Clark in The Help.

Speaking previously about the latter, Davis said she felt like she “betrayed” herself for starring in the movie.

“The white audience at the most can sit and get an academic lesson into how we are. Then they leave the movie theater and they talk about what it meant. They’re not moved by who we were,” she added at the time.

Davis and Octavia Spencer had previously been tied at three nominations each over the years.

A win would make Davis the only Black woman with multiple Oscars, and just the second Black woman to win a Best Actress Oscar. Halle Berry was the first to win Best Actress, in 2002, for Monster’s Ball.

Speaking previously to Variety ahead of the nomination, Davis said: “For me, it’s a reflection of the lack of opportunities and access to opportunities people of colour have had in this business.

“If me, going back to the Oscars four times in 2021, makes me the most nominated Black actress in history, that’s a testament to the sheer lack of material there has been out there for artists of colour.”

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