In 2015, the issue of diversity in Hollywood rose up to the surface when protests over the Academy Award nominations flared up over the fact that no acting nominee was of non-white descent, leading to an angry commotion of social media posts with the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
Now, in 2016, #OscarsSoWhite has occurred again.
This year’s nominations of the Academy Awards ignored any non-white nominees in all four acting categories – Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, and Actress in a Supporting Role. This issue is more heated up due to the fact that some of the films released this year were focused on African American stories or mainly featured black actors/actresses.
For instance, “Beasts of No Nation” and “Straight Outta Compton” both focused on African American stories and had extensive black casts, and yet they receiving nothing at the Oscars, despite being acknowledged at a few other award ceremonies. Moreover, there were many performances worthy of praise performed by non-white performers this year, such as Will Smith in “Concussion,” Idris Elba in “Beasts,” and Samuel L. Jackson in “The Hateful Eight.” There were also a long list of talented secondary actors and actresses who were also greatly underestimated, such as Benicio Del Toro for “Sicario” and Oscar Isaac for “Ex Machina.”
The Internet has already seen quite a bit of uproar after the nominations, as expected, with famous celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, and Snoop Dogg tweeting their reactions, using the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. An American actor and musician, John Stamos, tweeted a post saying, “Hollywood, this isn’t just about diversity, it’s about talent and you missed out on giving a thumbs up to both today,” aiming it at @DeadlineDominic.
Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been reported to be making a full-bodied effort to diversify its mostly-white, male, and older membership by inviting big, accomplished names like F. Gary Gray and Gugu Mbatha-Raw to become members.