Why Anohni is not attending the Oscars

“I want to maximize my usefulness and advocate for the preservation of biodiversity...”

article-title

Oscar nominee Anohni—formerly known as Antony Hegarty—has announced with powerful words why she will not be attending the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony. The 88th annual event will take place this coming weekend, and while much has been said on the lack of racial diversity in its nominees, it’s apparent that this is not only kind of diversity missing from the event.

Being only the second trans performer to ever receive a nomination in its history for the song Manta Ray with composer J. Ralph, Anohni was left feeling degraded upon realising that the positive implication of this nomination was soon to be retracted—the list of performers was announced, but her name was missing from it.

Disappointed by the lack of invitation to perform her song, and acknowledging the ever-present obstacles she faces in her career as a transperson, she speaks out: “It is a system of social oppression and diminished opportunities for transpeople that has been employed by capitalism in the US to crush our dreams and our collective spirit.”

We stand by Anohni’s decision to sit out of the event this time (Academy Awards, no thank you!). “I want to maximize my usefulness and advocate for the preservation of biodiversity and the pursuit of human decency within my sphere of influence.” Thank you Anohni, you inspire.

By Kelsey Lee Jones

Anohni’s new album Hopelessness will be released in May.