#OscarsSoWhite: Academy president responds to Oscar critics (+video)

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

#OscarsSoWhite: Academy president responds to Oscar critics (+video).

Responding for the first time to the firestorm of criticism over the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs says the all-white acting slate inspires her to accelerate the academy’s push to be more inclusive. That is the charge facing the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after it unveiled its nominations this week for the 2015 Oscars race. 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.

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. 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.

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. This is not representative of the real world,” O’Neil said. “It is a shame to see the Academy pass up the opportunity to honor the first black woman director,” Stone said, referring to “Selma” director Ava DuVernay. 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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