Black Excellence: Ava DuVernay Receives First Directors Guild Award Nomination

Photo: Frederick M. Brown (Getty Images)

While the Golden Globes may not have seen her (or any black people to be real), the Directors Guild of America certainly has.

The Hollywood Reporter has, um, reported that the Directors Guild of America has released a partial list of their awards nominees for 2020. Among the names released was that of writer, director, producer and general killer of the game Ava DuVernay for her work on When They See Us. The Netflix limited series was based on the story of The Central Park Five, a group of five black children who were falsely accused and imprisoned for a sexual assault they didn’t commit. It showcases with often painstaking detail the injustices and racism ingrained in the American legal system.

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In addition to directing all four episodes, DuVernay co-wrote the series alongside Julian Breece, Robin Swicord, Attica Locke and Michael Starrbury. The series was released in May to critical acclaim, scoring a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only that but it was the most watched show on Netflix upon its week of release and as of June had been viewed by over 23 million Netflix accounts worldwide. So yeah, it’s safe to say she did the damn thing.

In addition to When They See Us, DuVernay also is the creator and executive producer of Queen Sugar on the Oprah Winfrey Network, a show that has notably maintained a directing crew comprised of entirely women across all five of its seasons. She also has the anthology series Cherish the Day premiering on OWN next month. Oh and she’s the founder of ARRAY, a platform dedicated to distributing films from women directors and directors of color.

Personally, I’m most excited about the fact that she’s directing a New Gods movie for DC and is co-writing with Tom King. We got the woman who directed Selma, Wrinkle in Time and When They See Us writing a movie with the man who wrote The Omega Men, The Vision and Mister Miracle back to back. In the list of things that feel specifically geared towards ya boy, this tops it.

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The Directors Guild of America Awards are held on Jan. 25. Here’s hoping Ava will get all her things.

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About the author

Joe Jurado

Freelance Evening Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.