Hattie McDaniel played the role of Mammy, Scarlett’s loving yet stern house servant. In 1939, following the film’s release, McDaniel became the first African American to be honored with an Academy Award. The film reflected the troubling nature of the race relations of the times. Hollywood was notoriously known to exclude and disregard the work of African American actors and actresses. A special exception was made by the event’s venue in order to permit McDaniel to attend the award ceremony.