HFPA Member Apologizes For Asking Daniel Kaluuya About Wrong Black Director On Oscars Night – Deadline


HFPA and South African journalist Margaret Gardiner has apologized on Twitter for mistakenly asking Judas and the Black Messiah Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya what it was like working with director Regina King. The Warner Bros. movie, which won two Oscars last night, was directed by Shaka King. One Night in Miami, another Oscar contender last night, was directed by Regina King.

Gardiner, who reportedly was covering the Oscarcast for U.K.’s The Sunday Times Magazine, asked Kaluuya, “I’ve been following you since the beginning of your career, and I was wondering what it meant for you to be directed by Regina, what this means for you at this time with the world and the state that it’s in?”

The actor responded, “Say, that question again, please?”

In asking the question again, Gardiner asked, “I was wondering what it meant for you to win with the world and the state that it’s in in the moment?” See the video here:

Following the blunder, Twitter lit up, noting that the reporter seemed to confuse either Kaluuya with One Night in Miami star Leslie Odom Jr., who was also up against the Judas actor for Best Supporting Actor, or Shaka King and Regina King.

Black List founder Franklin Leonard tweeted the following about the HFPA member’s gaffe, which comes at a time when the organization is under siege for its lack of membership diversity, and most recently, former HFPA President Phil Berk’s wildly inappropriate email comments about #BLM and its co-founder Patrisse Cullors. Those remarks got the 88-year old HFPA member expelled. NBC and Dick Clark Productions owner MRC quickly condemned Berk’s comments after his email was leaked to the Los Angeles Times. Soon after Berk’s dismissal, it was reported by THR that Diversity and Inclusion Advisor Dr. Shaun Harper and Judy Smith’s Smith & Company crisis management firm had parted ways with the HFPA.

Today, Gardiner tweeted, “#DanielKaluuya I did not mistake you for Leslie Odom Jnr. I’m sorry if it seemed that way. I had wanted to ask about Regina King not being nominated as a director for One Night in Miami, and your win for Judas and the Black Messiah for the community at this time.”

There was a sound issue so I dropped the part about Regina King and restated my question. What does it mean for the community at this time. When I listed to the audio, I do understand, but there was no confusion,” she continued. 

Deadline reached out to the HFPA’s reps for comment. We’ll update you if we hear back .

Diversity shined through at last night’s Oscars with winners Chloé Zhao becoming the first woman of color to win Best Director for Nomadland. In addition Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women to win in Best Makeup and Hairstyling for their work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Minari actress Yuh-jung Youn became the first Korean to win Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Other notable winners which helped bolster inclusion include H.E.R. who for Best Song for “Fight For You” from Judas and the Black Messiah, Kemp Powers who won Animated Feature for Disney/Pixar’s Soul, and Jon Batiste who shared the Best Score Oscar for Soul with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe also won for Two Distant Strangers, which earned Best Live Action Short Film.





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