Outrage at the Oscars

In four categories of acting in the Oscars, not a single minority has been nominated. This is the second year in a row that the Academy has not picked a single person of color in the main categories; John Boyega played Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the top grossing movie of 2015, so it is surprising that he was not at all nominated. Considering this, many actors are boycotting the Oscars with the argument that the nominations do not reflect the diversity in the media and the minority president of the board that chooses the nominees, Cheryl Boone. Some actors boycotting the Oscars include: Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, David Oyelowo, Spike Lee and Don Cheadle. Will Smith’s role in Concussion was nominated for a Golden Globe, yet not for an Oscar. Jada Smith expressed her displeasure with the Academy in a few tweets:

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Chris Rock, who is to host the Oscars this year, also expressed his discontent with the Academy. He tweeted a clip of an ad for the Oscars, captioning it “The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.” Although, Viola Davis, who starred in The Help and How to Get Away with Murder, says that the problem lies in the lack of films in Hollywood that feature people of color, not the Oscars themselves. Whoopi Goldberg’s argument mirrors this ideology as she says that, “the idea is that there’s no place for black movies.” Even Snoop Dogg gave his colorful opinion about the Oscars controversy, saying, “F*** da Oscars,” and many other statements expressing his discontent that not a single black person was nominated for an Academy Award.

Controversially, English actress and Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling called the debate about this year’s award show to be “racist against white people.” In another contentious comment about the Oscars, Michael Caine said, “There are loads of black actors; I think in the end you can’t vote for an actor (just) because he’s black. You can’t say: I’m going to vote for him, he’s not very good but he’s black, (so) I’ll vote for him. You’ve got to give a good performance.”

With many voices speaking out against discrimination in the Oscars, hopefully some progressive changes can be made to create a more diverse group of nominees.