Skip To Content

    LaKeith Stanfield Was "Confused" By His Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nomination, And I Understand Why

    The academy has a specific way of doing things.

    The 2021 Oscar nominations are in, and one of them doesn’t make any sense at all.

    A display case is seen full of Oscar statues February 20, 2004 in Hollywood, California
    Carlo Allegri / Getty Images

    LaKeith Stanfield was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah, even though he played the protagonist William O’Neal.

    Lakeith Stanfield attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards a patterned suit and chains
    Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

    In a since-deleted Instagram post, he wrote, “I’m confused” about his Oscar nomination.

    Via Twitter: @TomiLaffly

    Although Warner Bros. campaigned for Stanfield to be nominated as Best Actor, he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination along with his supporting costar Daniel Kaluuya.

    Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya hugging at the 90th Annual Academy Awards
    Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

    However, Stanfield said that he still feels happy that he was nominated at all. “First time an actor with a face tattoo was nominated lmaooo,” he wrote on Instagram.

    Lakeith Stanfield shows off his face tattoo at the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
    Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

    As it turns out, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has the ability to choose which acting category an actor belongs in, even if the entertainer submitted their work for a different category.

    Lakeith Stanfield attends the Audi pre-Emmy celebration at Sunset Tower in a fedora
    Rich Polk / Getty Images

    It's important to note that actors are only nominated by other actors who belong to the academy. You can read more about it here.

    Clayton Davis, Variety's film awards editor, noted that Stanfield was probably nominated for Best Supporting Actor because "the acting branch might have seen [his] film as an ensemble piece, similar to The Trial of the Chicago 7, and voted for both [Stanfield and Kaluuya] in the category."

    Lakeith Stanfield gives a thumbs up at the 19th Annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles
    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    He continued, "While not for certain, the more plausible speculation is that Kaluuya received a large number of votes in lead actor, despite being campaigned in supporting. Many of those ballots likely had Stanfield listed for supporting, and vice versa."

    Lakeith Stanfield giving the peace sign on the red carpet of the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center
    Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

    While we probably will never know the full reasoning why he was not nominated for Best Actor, fans will just have to wait and see if Stanfield wins Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah.

     Lakeith Stanfield attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater in a suit adorned with a jeweled flower brooch
    John Shearer / Getty Images

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form