Oscar Uproar Overblown Over Lack of Racial Diversity Among Nominees

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Academy Head: I’d Love More Diversity.

The first black president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has spoken out about the outrage surrounding the lack of diversity among this year’s slate of Oscar nominees – and says the Academy is taking steps to address it going forward. “In the last two years, we’ve made greater strides than we ever have in the past toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization through admitting new members and more inclusive classes of members,” Cheryl Boone Isaacs told the Associated Press Friday evening. “And, personally, I would love to see and look forward to see a greater cultural diversity among all our nominees in all of our categories.” The 2015 Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning, and all 20 acting nominees were white – something that hasn’t happened in nearly two decades. The phrase #OscarsSoWhite soared up the Twitter trending topics within minutes of Thursday’s nominations for the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood’s annual awards season. But she did say that people shouldn’t feel as though Selma was snubbed because director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo were not nominated. “It’s nominated for the Oscar for best picture. Not a single non-white actor or actress was shortlisted in any of the four main acting categories, although the Martin Luther King Jr movie “Selma” did make it into the best picture race.

It’s an award that showcases the talent of everyone involved in the production of the movie Selma.” Despite the academy’s efforts to diversify, things are going slowly. The drama, starring Oprah Winfrey and Britain’s David Oyelowo as the Nobel Peace Prize-winning black civil rights leader, has been judged best film of the year by the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregator website. The movie, released just as huge protest rallies were held across the United States over the shooting of unarmed black teenagers by white police officers, had an exceptional 99 percent positive rating on the website. Spike Lee, who knows a thing or two about being snubbed by the Oscars, says the whole thing is meaningless anyway and Selma isn’t a better or worse movie just because it didn’t get as many Oscar nods as it should have. Congratulations, @TheAcademy for taking several steps backwards. #OscarsSoWhite pic.twitter.com/SNhDw9TmbL — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) January 17, 2015 A 2012 survey by the Los Angeles Times found the academy was 94 per cent white, overwhelmingly male and with a median age of 62.

Boone Isaacs declined to address whether she and the academy were embarrassed by the slate of white Oscar nominees, instead insisting that she’s proud of the nominees, all of whom deserved recognition. She explained that while each branch comes up with its own criteria for excellence and each nominates its colleagues, all voting is individual and confidential.

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