The Oscars will air February 28, 2016, and being as popular as they are, there is a lot of social media buzz going on around it. There are people congratulating nominees, and those expressing anger over nominees. There has been a hashtag floating around called #OscarsSoWhite that articulates this anger. The issue many Americans are having is the lack in diversity in the Oscar nominations. Almost all of the nominees are white.
Actor nominees in a leading role are Bryan Cranston in Trumbo, Matt Damon in The Martian, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs, and Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl. Actress nominees for leading role are Cate Blanchett in Carol, Brie Larson in Room, Jennifer Lawrence in Joy, Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years and Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn. That is just the leading roles, the supporting roles follow the same suit, with nobody of color being nominated.
Because this hashtag has been made viral, there have been a lot of memes and videos surfacing supporting this movement.
Most of the memes claim that the Oscars comprises of old, white men. This is evident in the best director nominations, with most of them being white men. Young women, or anybody of color are not recognized. Those that vote for the nominations have begun to take notice of the outrage and are starting to defend themselves.
Academy member Penelope Ann Miller told Hollywood Reporter “I’m very offended by the idea that some people are calling us racists … Such a sweeping declaration is extremely irresponsible.”
Miller also stated that there were white people who did not get a nomination either. Another Academy member told Hollywood Reporter that he voted for many people of color for nomination. Which doesn’t really mean much.
Celebrities have also begun to react to the hashtag. Many celebrities like Don Cheadle and George Clooney support the cause. George Clooney told Variety “If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African Americans were nominated. I would also make the argument, I don’t think it’s a problem of who you’re picking as much as it is: How many options are available to minorities in film, particularly in quality films?”
Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee are even rumored to start boycotting the Oscars. Pinkett Smith told Entertainment Weekly “Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power — and we are a dignified people, and we are powerful. Let’s not forget it,”
The ultimate goal wanted out of #OscarsSoWhite is more diversity and some change. There is nothing that can be done for 2016, the burn is already there.
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