Cinema Marta Stuchvik  

Oscar 1940 racist scandal

Back in 1940, there was no talk of equality in the United States. Moreover, such a concept as “racial segregation” was widespread. African Americans were not allowed to use the same bathroom, cutlery, and white clothing.

Even in the hall where the Oscars were presented, black people weren’t allowed . That is why one of the actresses who played in “Gone with the Wind” had a scandalous embarrassment.

Hattie McDaniel brilliantly played the role of Mom in the famous 1939 film and was deservedly nominated for an Oscar. But she could not be next to her colleagues: the director of the film, David Selznick, and all the main stars were sitting near the stage, and McDaniel had to be content with a place in the gallery.

Imagine the surprise of the skeptics when Hattie won the Oscar. She became the first black woman to be nominated for an award and win. However, the star of “Gone with the Wind” made its way to the stage for a very long time, because she had to go through the entire hall, literally squeezing between the tables.

This incident outraged many. But it will be possible to talk about full-fledged racial equality in the United States only 50 years later – and then with some asterisks. Hattie McDaniel’s colleagues have not forgotten about that incident, and periodically remind the organizers of the award about it. So, in 2010, actress Mo’Nik, who won the Best Supporting Actor award, came to the ceremony in a blue outfit with white hydrangeas woven right into her hair. It was this image that Hattie McDaniel once chose for that very ceremony.