#OscarsStillSoWhite?

On Jan. 15, the motion pictures academy released the complete list of nominees for 2016 films.

Yet again, for the second year in a row, the nominations include little to no minority actors for a majority of the categories. Although there are films like “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” who feature performances from minority actors, the nomination went to either the white supporting actor or the white screenwriter. Other films like “Beasts of No Nation” and “Concussion” which feature Idris Elba and Will Smith were not recognized at all.

Responding to the lack of diversity in the nominations of the Oscars, #OscarsSoWhite has started trending calling out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that oversees the awards, to make changes in deciding the nominees.

In an interview with Variety Magazine, actor George Clooney said, “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?”

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith has gone as far as to boycott the Oscars entirely. Additionally, filmmaker and actor Spike Lee made an announcement on Instagram stating that he will also not be in attendance of the 2016 Oscars.

Some have urged Chris Rock, the 2016 Oscars host, to step down from his position to boycott as well. Yet, he has still not made any comment on the debate. Instead, Rock has named the Oscars as the “White BET Awards.”

I am conflicted in my opinion about this issue. On the one hand, I think that the nominations should go to those that truly deserve the award for their performance in the film and I am in no way qualified to give out the awards because I have not seen all these films.

However, I also believe that minorities should be represented in the nominations. In total, only 23 black males and females have been nominated for Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role. From those, only five have won the award.


– Maria Harrison – Asst. Perspectives Editor

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Maria Harrison

Maria is someone who likes to eat soup in the summer and gelato in the winter. If you look at her computer, the page might be open to a game of Solitaire, a new film or dogs up for adoption.

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