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Academy Awards All-White Nominee List Proves Diversity Is Still Sorely Lacking

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    The Academy Awards seem to have a diversity problem. The 2015 Oscar nominations are now out, and it's surprisingly.. white. In fact, of all the 20 best actor/actress, supporting actor/actress noms announced, every single one of them went to white people.

    This is even more strange when you consider that Selma, a film about Martin Luther King with a predominately black cast, is up for Best Picture, and has a really good shot of winning. And yet none of the cast was nominated for an acting award. That doesn't really add up with a film that I would imagine is heavily reliant on powerful and dramatic acting performances from its cast.

    Twitter and the internet's social media warriors are going to town over the lack of diversity this year with the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. One of the most damning (but pretty true) tweets that surfaced shortly after the nomination announcements was from a person named Manjusha and reads as follows:
    #OscarsSoWhite the only time a Black person is nominated, let alone wins, is if they're in a role as a slave or the help.

    That might be hard to hear, and certainly isn't factually accurate, but its not far off from the truth either. The Academy does have a bad history with diversity gap issues. Back in 2011 and 1998, they also nominated only white people in all acting categories. And it's not just the acting noms where the Oscars fall short. Consider some of these stats compiled by Media Diversifed, about the Diversity Gap in the Academy Awards throughout a 85 year history:

    These are the winners, by percentage from 1927-2012:
    98% Producers were white
    98% Writers were white
    88% Actors/Actresses were white
    Only 1 women that wasn't white won the Best Actress award - Halle Berry 2002
    Only 6 men for Best Actor that were not white guys
    94% of Academy Voters were white. 77% Male during that time period.
    And 99% of Best Director awards went to men. Only woman to ever win was Kathryn Bigelow for 'Hurt Locker' back in 2010.


    What do you make of all this? I personally think this a bad mix of several socio-economic factors that date back a solid century or more (that are just now starting to really change for the better), that all converges into one big, glaring ratio issue. Women and minority directors, producers, writers and actors have notoriously been marginalized in Hollywood. From outright sexism and racism, to the fact that the game has been rigged for so long in white people's (men's) favor financially speaking, that one race has most of the money to make most of the movies. Add to that minorities are labeled as such for a reason: they are not the majority population. Meaning there is truth to the fact that in a country with a majority being Caucasian, you are going to get a lot of white people casted films.

    But there still is a diversity issue in Hollywood. This nomination lot is just another example of blatant proof. I don't wholly blame any particular faction though. I don't wholly blame the group that did the nominations; logic tells you that if there are 10:1 white films being produced in Hollywood v minority in any given year (that are not comedies, you know the Oscars don't like comedies) then its likely this will happen again, and continue to happen until Hollywood and films in general address this lack of diversity head on, and unilaterally.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    What about "FURY"? Badass movie with great acting and not one mention.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote: What about "FURY"? Badass movie with great acting and not one mention.
    Fair point. I was also shocked for a less political/racial reason that Interstellar didn't get a Best Picture or Director nod. But I have been paying attention to the Oscars for over a decade now. And every year a great action/think piece film gets completely snubbed, and left with only the visual awards like sound mixing and cinematography.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    Also.....Fury and Selma aren't original stories. Movies based on history. That's what makes Tarantino a great director...who has a brain that thinks up movie telling like he does?

    Believe it or not...The Great gatsby was well done... I liked the way they put a modern twist on it with the music and dancing.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    I'm not a huge follower of blockbuster movies and if I do pay money to watch a film it is typically a documentary or historical movie, which are often entirely ignored by the Academy. I did recently watch Selma and was deeply moved by it. How David Oyelowo missed out on Best Actor is baffling to me. I have seen plenty of video clips of Martin Luther King, Jr. and it was almost as if Oyelowo was MLK reincarnate.

    It really does look bad that there is not one person of color was nominated for anything. The Academy has to know this looks terrible and how they allowed this to happen is baffling to me. How in the world could they not notice such a glaring omission?

    The statistics you provided show that Hollywood has a long way to go when it comes to how they do things and It goes much deeper than neglecting to nominate an African American for an award. I've read more than a few articles from Middle-Eastern actors lamenting the fact that they are only able to get roles where they play a terrorist or from an openly gay actor who can only get a role as the overtly flamboyant homosexual. And all of us have grown accustomed to seeing the token black or brown guy in movies that are either a gangster or some other type of villain. Instead of knocking down racial, sexual, and gender stereotypes, Hollywood is only seeming to perpetuate them.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    One has to see all of the nominated movies and the roles the various actors played in them to properly judge whether or not the actor should be nominated, this is why the Academy has a nominating committee and unlike some awards this particular award does not rely on box office draw or fan favorites, there are other venues for that.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    johnnycee Wrote: One has to see all of the nominated movies and the roles the various actors played in them to properly judge whether or not the actor should be nominated, this is why the Academy has a nominating committee and unlike some awards this particular award does not rely on box office draw or fan favorites, there are other venues for that.
    Unfortunately, the Oscars are far more political than that. I encourage you to read this article from the Harvard Political Review: The Politics of the Oscars. It was written back in 2012, but it is the most comprehensive look into the politics behind the nomination process for this awards show. It's not nearly as simple as a group of people sitting in a theater, watching every movie, and then deciding which ones are the best. It is far more 'political' than that.

    Here's a few quick takeaways from the people tasked with picking the nominees and winners:
    94% of are white
    77% are male
    86% are over age 50.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    It does not matter to me how they (the Academy) judge a film, I see what I like , I have been to films that were !given numerous awards and I thought the movie sucked and some independent films with some unknown actors I have seen a couple of times because I liked it that much. For the most part these Awards are nothing more than pats on ones own back. When I go to the movies or to stage shows it's mostly to be entertained and to enjoy myself.
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    My wife and I recently saw "Unbroken". which is based on a true story. Although the director (Angeline Jolie) and the main character (Jack O'Connell) are both white folks , the movie did not receive a single Academy Award nomination.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I browsed thru the book at Barnes & Noble and will go back to buy it soon, incredible story ,I think the Academy would never have two war oriented movies up for the same award, although both are true stories.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    All these awards are ridiculous; all actors are "actors" and they are paid well for it. These awards are so phoney; putting "feathers" up their butts by themselves. That is great acting. I act every day but the only award I get is "go clean the kitchen" !!
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch -- Awarding trophies, medals and ribbons is as American as apple pie. It starts at an early age in schools, and scouts, sports, and later in work...including the military. Aren't you impressed with all those medals and ribbons on display on the chests of our top military brass? Except that when I look at a Russian general, they seem to have many more. If you have ever bowled, you must have some kind of trophy. And for those not as gifted there are medals for the best sportsman or something like that.

    So if you are feeling left out and have never earned a real American medal, ribbon or trophy, take a look here:

    Medals of America

    I'll be happy to order you one as the top contributor to the Democratic Hub forums.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    Dutch Wrote: All these awards are ridiculous; all actors are "actors" and they are paid well for it. These awards are so phoney; putting "feathers" up their butts by themselves. That is great acting. I act every day but the only award I get is "go clean the kitchen" !!
    Damn Dutch, you're starting to sound like me....slow down playa. You know how important Little Billy's self esteem is in this country. Little Billy needs all those trophy's to show the world just how important and "special" he is.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    When I was in the service I was what was known as an advisor in Jungle Operations, once while advising some Central American government , the man in charge was a General , aren't they all although sometimes they might be a Colonel, but anyway when he greeted us on our arrival, his uniform was festooned with so many medals I thought he would pitch forward onto his face, plus he also had some other medals on a sash plus a sword at his side, he looked so comical, but we had serious business to attend and he was no joke.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    johnnycee Wrote: When I was in the service I was what was known as an advisor in Jungle Operations, once while advising some Central American government , the man in charge was a General , aren't they all although sometimes they might be a Colonel, but anyway when he greeted us on our arrival, his uniform was festooned with so many medals I thought he would pitch forward onto his face, plus he also had some other medals on a sash plus a sword at his side, he looked so comical, but we had serious business to attend and he was no joke.
    What did his "I LOVE COCAINE MEDAL LOOK LIKE"?
    what about his coconut slicing merit badge?