And the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has done it again. It’s proved that it may be many things, but it is not reflective of the U.S.
Actors of color were shut out of the nominations again. And people are noticing. There is a #oscarssowhite twitter account. In fact all of social media is a-twitter about the whiteness of the nominees.
It isn’t like there weren’t any great performances of people of color. As the media site Vulture points out, candidates Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Benicio Del Toro (Sicario), and Michael B. Jordan (Creed) all received awards buzz in the weeks leading up to the nominations (Jordan took home a National Society of Film Critics award for Best Actor) but none were nominated. And:
In addition to the individual snubs, the Academy didn’t recognize Straight Outta Compton, a movie with a largely black ensemble, in either the acting or Best Picture categories, leaving us with no Best Picture nominees that feature a nonwhite lead or a predominantly nonwhite cast. (Straight Outta Compton did receive a nomination for Best Original Screenplay — which was credited to four white writers.)
Part of the problem is that the Academy itself doesn’t look like America. It’s members are overwhelmingly white, male, and older. From the LA Times:
A Los Angeles Times study found that academy voters are markedly less diverse than the moviegoing public, and even more monolithic than many in the film industry may suspect. Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male, The Times found. Blacks are about 2% of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2%.Oscar voters have a median age of 62, the study showed. People younger than 50 constitute just 14% of the membership.
So there it is, then.