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From Moonlight to The Limelight: Joi McMillon is the first Black, female to be Nominated for an Oscar in the Editing Category.

Academy Award season has swept across Tinseltown, and is the trending topic in news feeds across social media platforms. But this year, there is a new sensation in the air as Hollywood seems to be making strides towards more diversity and consciousness. With films like “Moonlight,” “Fences,” and “Hidden Figures” getting best picture nominations, this is a welcomed change considering this hot button issue has been one of deep seeded strife and conversation. One may recall last year’s #SoWhite boycott that encouraged Black Hollywood and other POC to boycott the awards in protest to nominees.

However, this inclusion goes beyond nominating movies featuring Black leading actors to include those minds who make the final movie the product the audience sees on the silver screen. One notable nomination is that of Joi McMillon, who is the first Black female to be nominated for an award in the editing category.

Moonlight (2016 Film)

Source: Washington Post article: ‘Moonlight,’ ‘American Honey’ to vie at Spirit Awards

For the record, McMillon is not the first Black or female editor, but in a primarily White, Cis, male dominated field and industry her nomination marks a swing in the pendulum for Hollywood. Not to mention this will be the 89th award ceremony, so for a nearly century long tradition, McMillon’s nomination is history making.

With a career background starting with reality television shows like “The Surreal Life” staring Flavor Flav and Bridgette Neilsen and “The Biggest Loser,” McMillon’s résumé now boasts editing credits for Tyler Perry and the second season of the HBO popular series, “Girls.” This Oscar nomination for her work with director, Barry Jenkins, and fellow co-editor, Nat Sanders, will only serve to propel her career.

Or so it may seem.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, McMillon reflects over her struggles to break into the world of big time Hollywood, commenting that, “These groups are so specific, almost like cliques,” and that meeting the right person is what can tip the scales. She goes over applying for gigs through Craigslist. Yet, despite her confidence, never getting the call back. She also discusses the hardships of being a person of color working in Hollywood. Statistically, being in a lower economic position, POC face the staggering, costly fees to be apart of unions crucial to one’s career.

Needless to say, McMillon’s nomination and career is an ode to the power of perseverance and determination in the face of many surmounting obstacles. With “Moonlight” receiving so much praise, it appears her nomination is well deserved. But what may be just as important is what the nomination represents: a sign of the tides changing to a Hollywood that is mindful, conscientious, and truly diverse.


Also, here is a link of an interview I had to do for this assignment. I uploaded it using SoundCloud. Please note that this is all for school and strictly opinion. on #SoundCloud

Note about this post: This is for an assignment in one of my online classes. I had to show that I can post using a publishing app on my phone. I give credit to the original sources for the images and for inspiring my writing. Please note, this is for a class assignment and I do not receive any monetary compensation for this.

Feature Image source: Edited from Time Magazine online:


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