Another year, another set of Oscars nominations, another year of #OscarsSoWhite. Today the Academy released their nominations for the 2016 Oscars Awards and it was very little diversity in the main categories. Last year on twitter @ReignOfApril started the Hashtag #OscarsSoWhite because of the lack of people of color being nominated and it blew up. The academy faced criticism from everywhere and had no real answer to the problem. Critic after critic made excuses to why movies starring, directed and written by people of color were not among the nominations. “It didn’t make any money” “I didn’t get a chance to see it” “I could not relate to the content” “The studios didn’t reach out to me”. All of these excuses are bullshit!!
[quote style=’1′ cite=” title=”]”Your movie can only win if nobody see’s it if your white” – Larry Willmore[/quote]
You would think after the backlash and the hashtag and the great movies that were released in 2015 directed and starring people of color that they would make some changes. But, unfortunately thats not how the game is played. I would like to say that I am shocked…but I’m not, but that does not mean that its still not infuriating. A lot of people of color have ignored the Oscars or put more stock in other award shows that recognize our talent and achievements, but thats not good enough.
The Oscars are the top of the food chain, the pinnacle, the championship achievement of that industry. It’s not just a golden trophy, it is a simple of excellence and a ticket to future success for most. It allows people to demand more money, to have more power and control on roles and stories, more opportunities to direct bigger budget movies, and more support from studios in marketing and your movie. Ignoring the Academy Awards and essentially taking our ball and going home may make us feel better, but will not help encourage young women and men of color to pursue careers in the film industry. Straight Outta Compton and Creed were two of the most successful films in every way this year. They made a ton of money, had great reviews, crossed over demographics and appealed to all people. But yet the only Sylvester Stallone was the only actor from those two movies to get a nomination and Straight Outta Compton got a token nomination for Best Screenplay.
Yes I will watch the Oscars this year and Yes I will be using the #OScarsSoWhite hashtag to show my displeasure. Chris Rock is hosting this year and he has an opportunity of a lifetime but he is well aware of how black people feel about these nomination and will for sure address it using comedy to take some edge off. Unfortunately this problem goes past the Academy. Movie studios need to green light more projects for people of color and push them with the same money and exposure as they do predominately white movies. This is not an indictment of any of the films nominated, because they were great films and deserve recognition, but everyone should be recognized for their success. Next year the Academy has a chance to get some diversity in critics, selection process and ultimately the nominations. I am not expecting it, but will be happy when it comes.
Major Category Nominations
- The Big Short
- Bridge of Spies
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Martian
- The Revenant
Adam McKay – The Big Short
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson – Room
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Matt Damon – The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
You can see the full list of nominations Here courtesy of IGN.COM