The World is Gray but the Oscars are White

By Christian Steiner 

The only injustice superior to that of Leonardo DiCaprio never receiving an Oscar is the misrepresentation (or lack thereof) of minorities in Hollywood. For the second year in a row the Academy is being accused of whitewashing the Oscars. No nominee (actor, director, writer) is from an ethnicity that isn’t white.

Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith (who was considered for nomination for his role in Concussion) are boycotting the Oscars for their inherently racist decision process.

Many share this sentiment and falsely point their blaming fingers at the Academy. In reality, the lack of representation isn’t a problem with the award ceremony, it stems from a problem that’s been nagging Hollywood for years – minorities don’t get a fair shot to represent themselves.

There was a minimal amount of  leading roles captured by minorities this year, none of which were shoe-ins. Some claim Benicio Del Toro deserved a nomination for his intimidating role in Sicario, but, film is objective.

Straight Outta Compton is a film primarily starring African Americans, however, the only nomination it received was for its white screenplay writer; this is an upset in and of itself since three of Hollywood’s top screenwriters- Kaufman, Tarantino, and Sorkin- wrote screenplays and were snubbed this year.

The top Oscars are going for either action-oriented films or biographical dramas- and the most Oscars are going to a mixture of the two. The Revenant is on top with 12 nominations. This is the second year in a row that Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu and his film lead the pack – dominating the ceremony with Birdman in 2014 – and this is the first year Leonardo DiCaprio is favored to win despite five  nominations in previous years.

In second place comes the surprise blockbuster hit Mad Max: Fury Road with ten nominations. The nominations are mostly technical but one also goes to director George Miller who revitalized a series he created nearly 30 years ago for fans both new and old.

The Oscar’s this year have also made strides to bring attention to young new talent. Brie Larson and Alicia Vilkander are not household names as of now but will be by the time February 28 comes around.

The Oscars may be criticized for once again leaving color out of the ceremony but what they didn’t fail to add are some fresh faces as well as some welcomed surprises. The Oscars air on February 28 on ABC and will be hosted by comedian Chris Rock.

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One thought on “The World is Gray but the Oscars are White

  1. Chris Rock is going to have a field day.
    But you nailed the general issue, that the media hasn’t been mentioning, its not the Oscars itself but a wider issue in many guises.
    And I saw a set of stats that showed that over time, the representation in oscar nominations aligns with the percentage of the US population that are black.

    Like

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