Omar Sy – First black actor to win a César Award

posted in: Awards

Omar Sy (Photo by ENS Louis Lumiere)

By Isseu Diouf Campbell

Black actors in the U.S. might have more things in common with French black actors that they think.
On February 24, 2012, Omar Sy – a French actor of Senegalese origin – became the first black actor to win a César Award for Best Actor for his role in “Intouchables” (The Untouchables).
In French cinema, discrimination and the use of stereotypes are pretty common. The situation is similar to Georges Lucas’s dilemma while working on his movie” Red Tails.” “We don’t know how to market a movie with black actors,”Hollywod executives told the veteran director. However, the movie “Intouchables” was a hit at the box office.
Before the Cesar award, Sy won the Best Actor Trophy at the 17th Prix Lumiere Awards. During his speech, Omar stated: “There were moments in my life where I would feel like a foreigner in France, I’m very happy that the Foreign Press reminds me with that award that I’m French and an actor.”

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