The nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards were recently unveiled, and the list is more diverse than it’s ever been. However, one category appeared to have been overly represented and had many scratching their heads, including its nominee.
Stars of the Shaka King directed drama-history film “Judas and the Black Messiah” LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya were nominated in the category of Best Supporting Actor. For those who don’t know or haven’t seen the film, the movie focuses on FBI informant William O’Neal, played by Stanfield, and how he infiltrated the Illinois, Chicago, chapter of the Black Panther Party to get intelligence on its leader Fred Hampton, played by Kaluuya.
So, one would assume that, if anything, Stanfield would be its lead actor — at least, that’s how distributor Warner Bros. campaigned it to be, The New York Times reported. Still, both actors received enough votes to land them both in the spot, which raised the big question of who would be considered the lead of “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
In a now-deleted post, Stanfield wrote, “I’m confused too but f-ck it lmao.” The 29-year-old later seemingly offered his answer when he uploaded a photo to his Instagram page of actor Martin Sheen in his role. Sheen played J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the person who ultimately carried out the bust that led to Hampton’s death.
Fans of the film reacted to the apparent mishap and took to social media to offer their opinions and concerns, including media personality Scottie Beam, who shared the same thoughts as Stanfield, writing, “Well who tf is the lead in Judas and The Black Messiah?? J. Edgar Hoover?”
Another Twitter user commented, “Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield trying to figure out who was the lead of their own movie.”
“LAKEITH STANFIELD IN SUPPORTING ACTOR? THEN WHO IS THAT MOVIE’S LEAD? I’M EXCITED AND CONFUSED,” a third expressed.
A fourth commented, “So….. Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield both are nominated for best supporting actor…. No lead actor, just vibes lmao.”
Stanfield and Kaluuya are up against Leslie Odom Jr. for his role in “One Night in Miami,” Paul Raci for “Sound of Metal,” and “Sacha Baron Cohen” for his part in “The Trail of the Chicago 7.” The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony is slated to air on ABC-TV on April 25 at 8 p.m. EST.