Hollywood Oscar’s Big Night Black Out.

51

January 21, 2016 by gregrabidoux2013

Oscars O

I’m feeling a bit naked and a lot white.

 

If you’ve ever watched Hollywood’s big night, and, as the great Lauren Bacall used to say, “Darling, where else would anyone who’s anyone be?” then you already know what a hedonistic, self-indulgent, egomaniacal extravaganza it is. Or, at least, used to be.

In other words, can’t miss television paying breathless homage to the big screen and its glittering stars.

Only this year, a number of stars can and are going to miss it. With names you may recognize like Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Oyelowo, Quincy Jones, Spike Lee and Denzel Washington, they and more are all choosing to be no-shows.

Is there some elite, VIP only party that is going on during Hollywood’s biggest night of the year? Maybe Elton John or Madonna mistakenly scheduled their sought-after “after-party” during the show?

oscars madonna

After-party. We’re all pirates. It will be epic.

 

Neither.

Need a hint? All of the no-shows share at least two things. One, membership in the American Actors Guild.

Two, Color.

And that second one seems to be the problem. In a Hollywood world where motion pictures long ago changed from monochrome to full “panavision” color their nominees for Academy Awards seem stuck in The Wizard of Oz’s world before the house touches down in the Land of the very colorful, diverse Munchkins.

Hollywood, it appears is still in a very white, very non-diverse 2016 version of Dorothy’s Kansas.

oscars wizard of oz

Is that a Black person Scarecrow. It can’t be!

 

And The Great and Powerful Oz, or in this case, the American Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences had better dig deep into their bag of potions and elixirs and fix this problem. And fast.

Of the entire slate of Academy Award nominees this year not a single nominee is a person of color. Any color. African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, Native-American. It’s as if Hollywood thought a bit and said, “You know let’s go back to the days when we’d hire very pale, very non-ethnic actors, slap some hideous face paint on them and then yell ‘Action’ and they’d say “How” to John Wayne.”

MBDCHCR EC004

Hey, it’s not like we’d know where to find real Indians even if we wanted to.

Yep. The Golden Age of Hollywood.

So, is it any surprise that a growing protest is currently underway to boycott the Oscars?

Not to actor of color David Oyelowo who starred in “Selma” and was snubbed last year by the Academy. As he says, “It’s not just that actors of color go on auditions and hope we get picked. It’s we hope we can explain why we play the roles we do to our family.”

He may have a point. How many times does Hollywood have a call-back for a black man to play yet another version of Martin Luther King?

But they do love them some Kevin Hart and Ice-Cube driving in cars, shooting guns and making “Booty Call” jokes.

oscars ice cube

No, fool, we didn’t get nominated for no Oscar.

 

George Clooney who has been playing the elder Hollywood statesman now for some time says it’s not just about getting snubbed at Oscar time but it’s about getting snubbed at screenwriting and casting time.

He too, may have a point.

Unless a motion picture calls for a wise, old, gentlemanly black man to offer kind guidance and advice to the “White Star” (and let’s face it all those parts are seemingly by Hollywood law to be given to Morgan Freeman) there just isn’t a whole bunch to go around.

Pimps, angry, destructive rap stars, disposable and decorative black women, drug dealers, gangbangers, violent thugs…plenty of these roles for actors of any color.

Just not Oscar worthy roles, or so it would seem.

But as Clooney implies, the funnel starts filtering out color way before Oscar Night.

Of the Top 100 Hollywood films released in 2015 a whopping 82% of all actors were white.

Perhaps, as crucial to a diverse Hollywood, the good folks who cast the only votes that mean anything, the Academy Members, who by the way are members for life, are;

  1. 94% White
  2. 80% Male
  3. Average age, nearly 65

So, is this in and of itself some sort of Tinseltown crime?

Nope. But, it is telling.

Last year when Selma was snubbed, some of the members shared their displeasure with how then-president Lyndon B. Johnson was portrayed.

We knew LBJ and your Selma was no LBJ.

OK. But the fact is, many of the movies that even have actors, producers, directors and cinematographers of color simply do not get watched by the Academy Members.

Forget about flying under the radar, many really quality, possibly Oscar-worthy flicks aren’t as much as a blip on the voting screen of those lifetime members who seem to keep asking “So, which one of these movies is that “Gone With the Wind” I’ve heard so much about?

oscars gwtw

Frankly, my dear, they should give a damn.

 

[BTW GWTW was filmed in 1939, and by golly, Hollywood then seemed ahead of the curve as Hattie McDaniel, a woman actor of color won Best Supporting Actress]

The Academy president, Ms. Cheryl Boone Isaacs is not one of those like-minded members. She said she is “heart broken and frustrated” that not a single nominee is of color and she intends to change this situation.

Ms. April Reign, who organized the current Boycott [#OscarSoWhite] says it’s not going to happen overnight until reform happens not only with the voting process but the day to day way Hollywood conducts its business. But she also shared that she isn’t optimistic that Hollywood or society will change anytime soon.

And then as with any protest there is the inevitable counter-protest and in this case what some are calling the “blacklash.”

Comedian Bill Cosby on State of the Union

No nominations for “52 Angry Women?” Now, that’s injustice.

 

superbowl ted

Get over it Coz. We weren’t  nominated either and the bear is  multiracial.

 

Stacey Dash, a woman of color actress and politico has called for an end to Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Black History Month if we are really serious about true integration and ending segregation.

Janet Hubert, who portrayed “Aunt Viv” on Will Smith’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” criticized both Will and wife Jada as hypocrites who have made millions and now since they didn’t get nominated are biting the gilded hand that fed them.

Alexis Arquette, a trans-gender sister of David and Patricia Arquette went um, a bit further. She claims that if Will and Jada had real guts they’d both tell the world what insiders already have known for years-that they are both gay.

oscars aa

It’s about time all you B*****s give me some dab.

 

So, in other words Hollywood with all its inglorious backstabbing and cat-fighting seems to be acting completely in character. And sadly, it ain’t pretty.

But should any of us really care?

I mean with all of what is happening in the world should anyone, besides maybe Will, Jada and Aunt Viv give a ‘Cecil-B-DeMille’ about who does or does not get to take home an Oscar or two?

oscars will smith

Aunt Viv said whaaaaaat??

 

Well, normally I’d say no if not for two fairly compelling reasons.

  1. I wrote a book that was published in 2010 about Hollywood, politics and our society (yes, you can buy it and make my day, available at Amazon.com under “Hollywood Politicos, Then and Now”…ok, end of brazen plug)
  2.  Hollywood is still a multi-billion dollar, global industry that can and often does influence a whole lot of things we do, say, think and buy.
Or, have you somehow lived out your existence so far being blissfully ignorant of all things Star Wars?
So, when in a year with movies like “Creed” starring the actor of color Michael B. Jordan and directed by the director of color Ryan Coogler gets snubbed but that thespian himself, Sly Stallone gets nominated there seems to be something white but not quite right in the Academy.
oscars stallone

Working on my acting chops. Always.

And let’s face it, not yet right in our society as a whole.
Alfred Hitchcock once said, “As Hollywood goes so will, eventually, the rest of the country.”
Seems one of the two needs to take a long look in the mirror.
Hollywood book by Greg R

Buy me and make Dr. R proud. amazon.com

bengal-tiger-why-matter_7341043

What’s next Sarah Palin too?

splendora palin

You betcha Hollywood. Keep up the good work.

 

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51 thoughts on “Hollywood Oscar’s Big Night Black Out.

  1. cmdarden says:

    In my personal opinion, the Oscars is not THAT big of a deal. It is not something I am going to record or make sure I don’t miss it. But, the thing is there are people in our society who will record it, who will make sure they are home to see it and will live vicariously through the stars. I cant say that I have never watched it or any other rewards show before because I have and I mainly watch it for the fashion. The stars of Hollywood have a great amount of influence on our society and I think it is great for them to receive rewards for doing their jobs well, because after all acting is their job. But, I think our society has bigger issues to worry about than who got nominated for an Oscar and who didn’t. I mean maybe it not a white or black thing with this years Oscars maybe its a good movie thing. And maybe it is a white or black issue and if so I don’t think Hollywood stars and critics are the only ones who need to change their attitudes and outlooks, maybe society as a whole should take a step back and think before we act or speak.
    Now, I have seen blogs, news articles and statements all over my social media and the internet about Stacey Dash and the comments she made about doing away with BET and Black History month. In some ways I can see why she says these things and how some people may agree with her but, I can also see how some people would not agree with her. I don’t care if BET has a freaking TV station or not because I don’t watch it.

    • Mynisha S C says:

      Hey, thanks for sharing your opinion. I would like to know it what ways do you see the validity of the argument of many and Stacy Dash in the termination of the BET network and Black History Month?

      I will start by saying this in how Stacy Dash is ignorant and just plain dumb. If anyone is to goggle this disrespectful individual in that all the music videos and magazine covers she graced were all “Black” Endorsed companies. That were started by black entrepreneurs those being Essences, Upscale, Ebony, Sister Sister etc. All of which elevated her career she was never in any major Hollywood movies or television networks only movies her sub par acting allowed her to be apart of was that of BET network. So for her to get on national television and especially Fox network and disrespect the African American community is not only shameful to the people but to herself.

      Secondly, How can someone say that eliminating Black History Month is an appropriate thing to do for America. The month of February is where many people and importantly students both Black and White become knowledgeable about the strides and influence that many African Americans played within the building of the United States side from being slaves! This is the first time many children see themselves with a sense of pride and not shame in a History, and/or Literature classroom, unlike those of the majority have the satisfaction of having pride and just reliability to those who look like them when reading literature and history books every single day! This is where we learn about not just the typical Black influence being Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr and President Obama. How about Dr. Charles Richard Drew,James E. West, Lonnie G. Johnson and so many others. Doing away with this month silences the efforts of these that many don’t recognize or see the influence of them. The month of February is to highlight these individuals and their influence in their respectable industry.

      That’s the problem with America. If only we took on the old McDonald’s advertisement of 365 Black we would have less issues of race in the media today.

    • E Griffin says:

      Hello! You have an interesting take on this. I can appreciate your opinions. Piggybacking off Summer (Mynisha), in what ways can you see why people would agree with doing away with Black History month or BET?

      Without being too deep, as an African American in America we would have little to no knowledge of black history if it wasn’t for things such as Black History month. In public school system black history has minimal inclusion in most public school’s curriculum. I feel as though Black History month is not only beneficial to African Americans, but it provides beneficial knowledge to all individuals of any race.

      The BET thing is another discussion in itself. Black Entertainment Television is derived from the lack of representation of African Americans on other networks. Personally I’m not an avid viewer of BET, however I’m not sure how doing away with the channel would benefit that cause. The Oscars aren’t an awards show that I frequently view either. I can understand why an actor/actress would be passionate about the lack of representation of individuals in the nominations.

      I really had to dig deep to try and find something positive to say about Stacy Dash’s comments. Her statements just goes to show how one person even of the same race or demographic can never really speak for the masses. I enjoy these types of the discussions. Its intriguing to read everyone’s opinions. I look forward to other blog posts and comments.

  2. Alesia Willis says:

    Opinions on Diversity in Hollywood and in the Academy awards occupies so little of my thoughts, completing this very sentence is proving to be difficult. But the mass media gods are doing what they do, and forcing me to know too much about a subject for which I care very little. But in doing that I am forced to think outside of my everyday struggles and understand a little bit of the big picture. Diversity, Acceptance, Acknowledgement, are some of the themes that I am forced to think about. I would not want The Academy to respond by giving a certain percentage of Black actors or actors of color awards to appear diverse. At the same time I hope that our brothers and sisters of color are not being overlooked. Either way this subject is not likely to do a standard news cycle and disappear, so I guess I’ll be paying attention.

  3. Amber T says:

    As I read these comments I think what a bunch of liars! I mean, c’mon, it’s like after a president is unpopular then everyone is like” oh, I didn’t vote for him so don’t blame me!” Same here, everyone claims to not care, pay no attention to celebrities or Hollywood yet polls show more of us know more about Kim and Jay Z or Tom Cruise’s religion or Brad and Angie than our own family or neighbors. And please, as you say Hollywood is a multi-billion dollar industry, so the example they set the discrimination or lack of diversity they show on the big screen and in awards does matter. And where will these people who don’t care be that night? At home watching Jennifer Lawrence on the runway complaining about how skinny she looks!

  4. Dale T says:

    And Chris Rock who to me is a borderline white hater gets to be the host. Great, so he’ll use his time to attack whites as usual. Another reason for me to boycott the awards show.

  5. David P says:

    I agree with those that are stating that the Oscars aren’t a big deal. It’s just a bunch of wealthy, self-indulged people gathered to pat themselves on the back. I haven’t watched them for years, and neither have most of the people that I know. And in reply to Amber above. Those people in those polls might not be the people posting here. I hardly know much of anything about Kim or Jay Z or Brad or Angie. I admit I know about Cruise’s craziness, but I don’t go out of my way to follow it. Heck, I don’t even know when the Oscar’s are. We cut the cord long ago and watch Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime for the content and quality of the material, not for the personalities in them.

    I find this quote from the author telling: “Of the Top 100 Hollywood films released in 2015 a whopping 82% of all actors were white.” Per the 2010 census the demographics of the US were 72.4 percent European American, 12.6% African American, 4.8% Asian American, and other minorities taking up the rest. Now while 82% is a bit higher, I’m not sure that having no African American’s nominated this year isn’t just a statistical outlier. And the counterpoint to the argument is that if the US population is just under 28% minority then there is some underrepresentation with the 28% number quoted, but it’s not like every film is completely filled with white people.

    Is a quota system coming? Are we going to see the affirmative action Oscars? I might care if I actual felt that this annual publicity stunt actually meant anything.

  6. Ty H says:

    David-man, you r missing the point. If you are a person of color, any color, then you hit a wall that says unless you want to play a thug, a punk or a drug dealer then pretty much forget it. And since no doubt you are white and you sound over educated, let me you in on something else, not everyone in the arts is some self indulgent fool. The system is racist, stop trying to make it sound not so

    • David Pittsenberger says:

      Hey, Ty. I never said everyone in the arts is anything. I said that the Oscars were. And I’m not the only one that thinks that way. Recently, Ice Cube appeared on the Graham Norton show last night and this is what he had to say about this issue:
      “If the industry gives you a trophy or a pat on the back it’s nice but it’s not something you should dwell on. It might sting at first when you don’t win but let it go and move on, keep making great films and keep making the people happy.

      “We got accolades from all levels, from our core fans, from curious fans and from people that didn’t even think they wanted to see that movie. We got so much praise for the movie so how could we be mad that one academy or guild or anybody says it isn’t the number one.

      “It’s like crying about not enough icing on your cake. It’s ridiculous.”

    • julianwjr says:

      Perhaps you should ask yourself why it is that screenwriters and casting agents do not go against prevailing American societal type when choosing actors to play thugs, punks, and drug dealers.

      Would the screenwriter and casting agent for “13 Hours” hire the male cast of “The Big Bang Theory” to play the male leads? Why not? Well, there’s your answer.

    • Cal says:

      “If you are a person of color, any color, then you hit a wall that says unless you want to play a thug, a punk or a drug dealer then pretty much forget it.”

      I think that LeVar Burton would likely disagree with you on that note. He’s played a fire chief, an engineer, a doctor, a principal, and hosted educational programs. None of his roles, to my knowledge, have been “a thug, a punk or a drug dealer.” Stop propagating the progressive socialist phony notion that America is institutionally racist.

      – Cal

      • A Blackwell says:

        Hello there! Hmm…its been proven numerous times that there are glass ceilings for people of color and women. There are some people who deny racism and institutional racism. Some would say that America has made it and that both are a thing of the past. If that is the case then why do so many people of color and women think they are discriminated against? The ones who are usually NOT discriminated against are the ones that typically have a habit of denying its existence. There is a pattern that is not subtle with the casting of actors and actresses in Hollywood just as there is a pattern of the non hiring of minorities and women in the upper echelons of management in many companies. To deny this just adds to the issue.

      • Elisa Etienne says:

        Whether you’d like to acknowledge it or not, America is institutionally racist. I imagine it may be difficult to understand when you’re not on the receiving end of it but it is very much alive and roaming. And until it is recognized by the majority, there won’t be a significant change because ignorance is bliss.

  7. Amy G says:

    I agree with Charlotte Rampling, there wasn’t just any talented back actors in films that deserved to be nominated. And she did. She said so herself.

  8. KFitz says:

    To me, the biggest probelm is the studios. Period. We need more quality films with people of color. Old white guys are deciding what gets produced – so the proper boycott is at the theatre. Don’t go see films if they don’t represent what/who you want to see!

    • Dedric L says:

      KFitz,
      I must agree with you I think the film industry should have more people of color in their films and not just in films that are playing gang related, prison scenes or cross dressing scenes but scenes that also portray people of color being a civilized people and the only way people are going to understand it is to boycott all theaters throughout the nation because by doing will be a wakeup call because they must remember without the audience there are no actors.

  9. Dedric L says:

    In my opinion I must say that the Oscars are not something I would become enraged about because there are other events these people of the rich and famous class should be focusing on such as major events or human atrocities that are happening throughout the world but since the event occurs and is taking place I feel that it coincides with what is happening throughout the world and even the rich and famous men of all color that are non-white are beginning to understand that history is beginning to repeat itself.
    If majority are 80 percent men 94 percent white and the average age is 65 if not older that itself if an issue and it should be more diverse with people from all ethnic groups that qualify to be a part of the nomination criteria. It should not matter what role they play rather it being sexual, gang related or so called “white related roles” because when there is diversity, they can all decide who qualify to be nominated and it leaves room for error.

    • Cal says:

      It strikes me as odd that everyone keeps saying how there are more white people in various roles than there are black. That is normal because there are more white people in America than there are black. According to the Census Bureau, in 2014 blacks made up 13.2% of the population, yet everyone seems to think they should be 50% of the nominees and 50% of the Academy. There is a gay latino who will have is right to vote in the Oscars taken away in the name of “diversifying” the Academy. Just like taxes and affirmative action, take away from someone who has earned it through hard work and give it to someone based on their race.

      – Cal

  10. Dustin H. says:

    Hollywood is not something that’s on my radar to care much about. Out of the 25 top movies released in 2015, I’ve seen one of them (Black Mass, if you must know). I also don’t have a clue who any of the white nominees are and probably couldn’t name the movies they played in if I was provided their names.

    However, it is obviously a very white-dominated business. As some pointed out, it is much deeper than “no people of color got nomintated”. In order to get nominated, you have to be in a highly-rated film, so the issues starts with the studios and casting. Hopefully since this was brought to light, Hollywood can begin making some progress.

    • Jay Moreno says:

      Why, pray tell, should it be incumbent upon “Hollywood” to make some “progress” vice Black actors making some progress in their acting skills?

      My guess is that very few of you have ever heard of Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE, much less seen him practicing his craft. Here you go, from Wikipedia:

      Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE[3] (/ˈpwɑːtjeɪ/ or /ˈpwɑːti.eɪ/; born February 20, 1927), is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author and diplomat.
      In 1964,[4] Poitier became the first Bahamian and first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor,[5] for his role in Lilies of the Field.[6] The significance of these achievements was bolstered in 1967, when he starred in three successful films, all of which dealt with issues involving race and race relations: To Sir, with Love; In the Heat of the Night; and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, making him the top box-office star of that year.[7] In 1999, the American Film Institute named Poitier among the Greatest Male Stars of classic Hollywood cinema, ranking 22nd on the list of 25.
      Poitier has directed a number of films, including A Piece of the Action, Uptown Saturday Night, Let’s Do It Again, with Bill Cosby; Stir Crazy, starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder; and Ghost Dad, also with Cosby. In 2002, thirty-eight years after receiving the Best Actor Award, Poitier was chosen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award, in recognition of his “remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being.”

      Now, I was a 16 year old movie goer in Savannah, GA, in 1964. I’ve seen all of the movies above from Lillies of the Field down through Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in theaters packed full of White folks during their initial runs. Trust me – there was a Helluva lot more overt racism, almost all White, in 1964 than in 2016. Progressives at Berkeley had not yet invented the curse of Political Correctness (PC.) There was no Spike Lee or Jada Pinkett Smith or Danny DiVito to show their progressive asses. And yet, you have just read Sir Poitier’s bio. How could that be without the threat of economic harm to the industry if they did not establish and fill Black quotas, irrespective of demonstrated talent and star power?

      It’s quite simple. He was really that good, unlike token Halle Berry, decades later.

      Hollywood has absolutely no economic motivation to pass on Black actors who can fill theater seats and increase video rentals. The progressive, whiny, shibboleth that they do is pure, Lib-Dem, ideological, crap. When another Sir Poitier or a Denzel Washington or a talented Black actress comes along who can fill seats, they too will be recognized, first by moviegoers who vote at the box office , and only then by the Academy. That is as it should be and the only way Dr. King would have had it.

      KBE is “Knight of the British Empire.”

  11. julianwjr says:

    Of course, it just could be that at long, long, last,the Academy, after bending over backwards for the last few decades to include Blacks who perhaps delivered less than stellar performances,per se, and relative to those of the rest of the non-Black actors, directors, etc.,as nominees and occasional winners more out of a sense of “progressive”, condescending, affirmative, paternalism, than a true belief in the quality of their performances, have erroneously concluded that America had perhaps finally achieved Dr. Kings dream.

    Obviously, they were wrong. The race-hustling, Black, professional victims and the White- guilted Commie-Lib-Dems are clearly not yet prepared for an America where, de facto, ALL men, including men of “color,” “[a]re judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” not to mention the true quality of their work products.

    After all, presumptive, eternal, White racism is the sine qua non of the entire race hustling industry upon which its Black practitioners rely for their livelihoods and upon which the Democrat Party relies for its most readily purchasable, reliable, bloc vote.

  12. Cal says:

    This, like so many other race relations movements, is nothing more propaganda. If the Academy Awards were racist and exclusionary then people like Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, etc would not be nominated and win multiple academy awards. You said in your post that of the top hundred films last year “82% of all actors were white.” Given that the US Census Bureau reports that African-Americans make up 13.2% of the US Population it seems (at a glance) that they might be over-represented in Hollywood if they make up 18% of all actors in the top 100 films. What people who propagate this narrative that African-Americans are excluded because of the color of their skin fail to comprehend is two-fold: 1) the percentage of African-American actors portrayed in films is statistically similar to the percentage of African-Americans in the population as a whole, 2) sometimes they simply don’t do as good a job as others – did anyone see Will and Jaden Smith’s After Earth? It wasn’t a good movie. Contrast how many African American Actors didn’t get a nomination or an award with how many White actors didn’t: I guarantee that there are more “snubbed” white actors than there are black for the simple fact that there are more of them. One of the Academy Award members is a gay latino and he is livid that Cheryl Boone Isaacs changed the rules and he wrote “I worked in the industry for over 20 years, most of that time as a film studio executive. Because of that, I am currently a full voting member of the Academy. Under the new rules it appears as though that right will be denied me in order to make the Academy and therefore the Oscar nominees ‘more diverse'” in response to this movement. The same thing of the #OscarsSoWhite movement is wrong with the #BlackLivesMatter movement – an distortion/ignorance/refusal of the statistical facts.

    – Cal

  13. Kelsey G says:

    I think this article brings out a lot of things that a number of people have been afraid to say for a while. I believe there has been a huge issue with diversity when it comes to projects in Hollywood. Many seem to just over look them and assume that it is normal but some are finally trying to take a stand and point out this huge issue that should be addressed. The timing of the bold statements and actions are at a bad time when we have so many other things to worry about that can effect someone’s life but this is also something that needs to be changed. This will not be an easy fix but it needs to be addressed so that things are fair for all races and all people of color.

    • Cal says:

      It’s not an issue of diversity, it’s an issue of quality. Why do people expect 12-13% of the General Population of the United States to comprise 50% of the nominees/award winners in a given field. Why would 12-13% of the population comprise 50% of the actors/actresses cast in films?

      – Cal

  14. Cynthia says:

    I agree that the academy and the awards may be too ‘white’…..it does seem odd that certain hits don’t get nominated: like Creed and/or Selma. However, I think white Hollywood having a problem with it is a good thing and what is necessary to affect change. George Clooney, if he is the elder statesmen, seems to be a voice of reason. And I like the fact that he is pointing this out.

    • Jay Moreno says:

      Clooney, the Hollywood “progressive” elder statesman? Hmm. All this time, I would have thought it was Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, or Quentin Tarantino.

      Elder Hollywood “progressive” spokeswoman? Hmm. Obvious candidates would be Jane, Babs, Whoopi, Roseanne, and Susan.

  15. Dylan G says:

    Well this topic sure does bring out the emotion from many people, black and white. I am not sure how much change will truly come of it, but at least the issue is now out in the spotlight for many to debate. So maybe the movement will at least shed enough light on the issue for a bit of reform within the movie industry to take place. I have many different views about this issue though. On one hand, I can see the viewpoint of the minorities who feel they are being snubbed. On the other hand, I also see that this is nothing but an overhyped awards ceremony that will always have debates over the validity of their choices- so why such a concern. I mean, if someone is basing their personal worth around the choices of some rich old white people in Los Angeles, then maybe they should focus on something else to base their life accomplishments around. I would personally rather have millions of individuals support my work through paying to see the movies i am in than I would have some “critics” vote me as the best. Just a personal opinion though. I do find it interesting than many minorities are quick to scoop up the roles that are offered and make millions of dollars in doing so. And then, turn around and complain about the lack of other roles offered. And why is this just a black thing? Are there no other racial classes that feel snubbed by this process? I have been a little amazed that other individuals from other racial classes haven’t jumped on this movement. But back to my original view, there is the appearance of not enough love being shown towards actors/actresses of color. And if the Oscars want to clean up their image, then they definitely need to take steps to be a more inclusive organization. The amount of money that the entertainment industry generates is astonishing, thus I just don’t really see a ton of change. These rich industry executives sure do enjoy the fat checks that they bring home, so I wouldn’t expect to see too much happen that could threaten their wallets. There will be some sort of public relations move to calm the storm, but in the end, the big money business of Hollywood will continue trucking along as is. I don’t watch this award ceremony to begin with, so maybe I am not the expert on the subject. I honestly don’t care who they say is the best actor/actress, I like to watch a variety of movies and make my own decisions- regardless of what color the entertainers are.

    • Dave Brannan says:

      I would agree with you that money has a lot to do with these awards. While the Academy Award is not necessarily given to the movie that is the biggest blockbuster or has the most hype, it still means a great deal to have that distinction attached to the cover of the DVD or movie poster and it, in turn, gains notoriety for the film and actors in the film. This of course leads to more money.

      I also don’t pay much attention to the Oscars, but I’m sure that on some level having heard that a particular actor or movie was nominated or won an award for a particular film would influence whether or not I want to invest 2 or 3 hours of my life watching a film. For that reason, I think it would be wise for the industry to examine the trends in the nominations and awards. In general, I think that people often lean toward things and people that are like them and when the Academy is dominated by old, white men, there is likely to be some people not receiving fair consideration.

  16. A. Hughes says:

    Hahahaha!

    Okay, got that out of the way.

    After reading some random info on the web about the Academy Awards and its history it’s a little laughable to me. (I haven’t watched the Oscars for like 15 plus years so why not surf the web for some info.)

    Disclaimer: Before I explain what’s funny, I got info off the webs so I know it may not be legit but here goes nothing….

    1) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was created under the pretenses to, “…mediate labor disputes without unions and improve the industry’s image.”

    2) The guy or guys who initiated this organization are just that, guys who made a “club”.

    3) These guys built a place to hold meetings that was members only by invite.

    It sounds like the Little Rascals! “No girls!”

    Well… I thought it was funny 🙂

    All jokes aside, the Oscars may want to change with the times. (Or at least change their voting process or membership base.) Social media is transparency and no one organization can hide from its magnify glass. If people feel there is something unfair or foul play is afoot then it’s going to be blasted. (Especially race and fairly so. We haven’t come as far as we may think on the topic of racism in America or even gender equality for that matter.)

    I guess at the end of it all people want equality. (Uh, duh.) We are definitely better than we were but we still have room to grow.

    PS I’m not saying equality as an absolute because that’s impossible and people will be people but hey, “Can we all just get along?”…

    • When I was researching for my first book (Hollywood Politicos, then and Now, UPA Press, 2010) I also learned that the idea was actually riffed off of the rep. company that the all guys started as part of Shakespeare’s travelling acting troupe! So, yes, the roots are not so inclusionary but it is 2016 now, so…!

      • A. Hughes says:

        Interesting! Yeah, I checked out your book on amazon. It’s on the save-for-a-later-date list. I love adding to my home library when I can. Although, I have two confessions: 1) I would probably read it in between terms and 2) I’m probably going to buy the used copy because I’m all about savings 🙂 I love pop culture stuff and the history of it proved interesting today. Seriously though, it’s 2016 and the roots need some highlights. haha!

        PS Yayyyy! I got the whole posting a comment thing right this time! Ha! In yo face blog.

  17. Ashley K. says:

    Throughout the discussion that has been surrounding the Oscars for the past few months, I’ve been trying to look at the bigger picture. Yes, we need to think about why there were zero people of color nominated but we also need to figure out how we can include diversity in the future. I believe that it all goes back to the ‘filtering out’ of color that you mentioned that occurs from the very beginning of the production process. The few actors of color who manage to get through this filtering are up against scores of white actors when it comes to award season. So is it the Oscars that is fundamentally against nominating actors of color or is it the whole process that needs to be reformed? The good news is that whether or not the ‘color snub’ of the Oscars is the problem or a mere symptom of a larger issue, the attention that is being paid to the matter will surely prompt diversity inclusion in Hollywood to some degree.

  18. Marsha M says:

    I think the change the critics would like to see is may not happen anytime soon. The lack of diversity at the Oscars has always been a problem. I am afraid to say but this will always be a problem. I think Will and Jada Smith should pool their resources with other stars and create their own award show.

    • Cal says:

      So Marsha,

      Your “resolution” to the alleged “racial problem” with the Academy Awards (specifically Oscars) is to create segregation? Isn’t that like saying “the black kids in Public School A aren’t making as high grades as the white kids in Public School A. Let’s create Public School B and only admit black kids.”? As I mentioned in my post, if the issue was race then there wouldn’t have been the multiple winners there have been in the past. African-Americans only comprise 12% of the total population of the US, why – statistically speaking – would anyone expect them to take 15-50% of the awards? Equality does not mean that everyone has the right to a nomination or award; it means everybody has a right to pursue a nomination or award. Equality means you do not set aside and say “we can only have this many white people,” or “we have to have at least this many black people.” Do you really want to push the Awards Ceremonies to where they try to fill nomination requirements? If you insist on affirmative action style “equality” then eventually M. Night will start receiving nominations (and eventually awards), because over time people will notice they’re only nominating people so they won’t seem “racist,” and will demand “diversity and equality” in the ceremonies. M. Night hasn’t produced a good film since Unbreakable, he shouldn’t win any awards or be nominated for anything until he produces quality product.

      – Cal

      • Marsha M says:

        Cal,

        I love movies. In my spare time I watch movies. The Revenant is a great movie, but Selma was too. Creed in my opinion was exceptional, but so was Straight Outta of Compton. To answer your question, I not in favor of the affirmative action style nomination and award process. The movies I mentioned above were great movies. The funny thing to me is that Sylvester Stallone won an award for his role in Creed. He even felt as if the movie deserved more awards.

        Your research and statistical information has helped me understand why you may feel as strongly as you do. Not all great movies will receive awards. I can understand that completely. Will all nominees remain overwhelmingly white at the Academy Awards and Oscars in the years to come? In my opinion, yes they will.

        If Will and Jada Smith want to use their money to create another show, then I think they should. How do we know this would be a bad thing? Perhaps another show would help the Oscars and Academy Awards stay out of the media for their all white nominees or should I say lack of diversity.

  19. Emily L says:

    In my honest opinion, the Oscar Nominations are of little to no value to myself and many individuals that I converse with. To boycott the ceremony is slightly ridiculous though, considering that per the 2010 census the demographics of the US were 72.4 percent European American, 12.6% African American, 4.8% Asian American, and the other 10.2 a variation of other races. Having 82% of all actors of white decent isn’t necessarily surprising in this aspect. I also don’t believe that individuals of black decent are only portrayed in a light that is characterized by drug use. I can’t recall a movie that Will Smith or Morgan Freeman were represented in such a light, however Matthew McConaughey was portrayed as an AIDS invested drug attic. I think it’s all in people’s perception, and if one would like to refuse to attend an awards ceremony, then so be it.

  20. Victoria J says:

    I see where you and all the “snubbed” actors and actresses of Hollywood are coming from. I can definitely see that there is some sort of disconnect between the bodies of work that are put out the selection of which works are “academy worthy” even so to simply receive a nomination. Quite frankly its ludicrous. Honestly though, generation X and those who came after, who view these bodies of work could really care less about the Oscars and their opinions on films produced and staring people of color. We are more so concerned that the industry continues to produce films that are of interest to our generation and accepting of our race, creeds and color.

    On the other hand I can understand why a person working in the field of film and production may care enough to boycott or fight for equality among their colleagues.

  21. Chris R says:

    I would agree that the influence of popular media, specifically film and television, can and typically does have a sway on the ideals of America. In a way, popular entertainment both ushers in new tolerance and, such as with this case, holds a mirror to society. I personally do not really care about the Oscars. I have paid little attention to this controversy but I can say that what I have read shows this as a layered problem, with lack of diversity being the root. Other issues concerning the academy is the voting system which does not require members to screen all films and has no way to keep track of who has seen what. The voting reflects personal interests of the academy voting members at best, and a rushed popularity filling out of a ballot at worst. The academy is a reflection of the entertainment system, centered in Hollywood, that values earnings over authenticity. When that occurs, you find directors and producers pandering even when attempting to stick to an original artistic vision. This pandering knocks everyone to a lowest common denominator so that the most people will be attracted to attend.

    I think that an encouraging aspect of this is new streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, who are giving diverse casts an outlet to shine and prove their abilities. Shows like Orange is the New Black feature a heavy female cast made of a diverse cast of ethnicity and sexuality. The show is consistently one of the most viewed and critically acclaimed on Netflix. Hulu recently saved The Mindy Project from Fox cancellation. Master of None let Aziz Ansari create one of the best new comedies of the year. Hulu did something similar with allowing Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner, a gay and female duo, to create another comedy gem, Difficult People.

    Another issue is the backlash which Hollywood receives when they do inject diversity into entertainment. There was an uncalled for but vocal none the less outcry that the new Star Wars had a black actor as a lead. The movie still went to make unimaginable earnings so hopefully this will help to solidify more leading roles for more diverse actors and actresses. I feel as though slowly things are getting better in the television aspect, although there is still a ways to go. There are many diverse actors who deserved nominations this year; Michael B Jordan comes to mind immediately. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Hopefully the discussions that started will cause some changes.

  22. Welch says:

    The statistics presented in the article said that most main actors are white. If that is the case then there would not be a lot of black, Latino, etc actors that would be in the position to win the award. I think statistically there should be at least a few other races represented. However, we have all watched movies that we thought were great that won nothing and movies we (as the majority of moviegoers) thought were too out there, artsy or whatever that swept award shows. But if you want to talk about Morgan Freeman, when was the last time they made a movie like “Glory”? I think the most outstanding part of the article was when Stacy Dash “a woman of color” stated that if we truly want to integrate the races we need to get rid of BET, black/Latin history month.

    • A Blackwell says:

      The pool of minority actors is small I have to admit. I can not think of one stand out Asian, Hispanic, or Native American actor at the top of my head…which is sad. There definitely needs to be more representation. It probably is due to the lack of opportunities or roles. Even so, year after year for the last decade minority actors have been getting snubbed for roles. I don’t see how this was a different year. As for Stacy Dash…she’s entitled to her opinion even if I don’t agree with it. At my job, we have a club for each nationality. We pick different months to recognize each. It bring diversity to the workplace and I think its fabulous. To eliminate BET or a nationality month is to not recognize it. I actually think there should be months celebrating the contributions of other nationalities. It shouldn’t be about integration but diversification.

  23. Kershawnda J says:

    The main issue with the Oscars is the lack of opportunities.We already know that there are more whites than blacks in the industry but does that mean it is okay for them to not have a voice at the table? So much of black cultural is represented in films. Just like anyone else, the ones that are boycotting the Oscars are looking for a way to break through another glass ceiling to say they matter and contributed to the industry so what can’t they join the club. Should they be content with the issues they have with the industry that will not allow them to reach the next level to make “quality” films?

    It truly seems that blacks in the industry are only recognized in films about the injustice of slavery and racism or playing some type of a pimp, a corrupt cop, prostitutes, or some type of drug addict in this day and time.

    I believe that are just trying to say they want more opportunities to be more and to do more. But how if they can only get these types of role, director these types movies, and only get nominated for those types of films?

  24. Holiday says:

    The Oscars has a fan base who are going to watch and who are not going to watch it. I feel as if the Oscars are just like any other entity, it has it issues. I don’t think the group who votes sits around and say “I think we are only going to have a certain number of black nominees each year.” I do not think the committee is less diverse than it should be, which is seen in a lot areas, not just entertainment award shows. Protesting the Oscars by will Smith seemed to be sour grapes in my Opinion. Hi movie was not nominated, big deal! Leo DiCaprio had the longest run of not winning the Best Actor Oscar for years!!! The Oscars has their favorites and those who are not their favorite, that’s why the need new fresh members on the voting committee as much as possible. The biggest Travesty was the Creed was not nominated for best picture, or that Sly Stallone did not win best Supporting Actor. Also the fact that Straight Out of Compton did not win Best Original Screenplay.

  25. tara c says:

    One of the first things I thought of when the actors/actresses went on the Oscar strike because no one of color was nominated was in the 88 years of the Oscars, how many African-American’s have won Oscars and what were they? There are many that I did remember, such as Hattie McDaniel “mammy” (which GWTW is one of my favorite movies) loved me some Butterfly McQueen who once said she didn’t mind playing some parts over and over but she didn’t like being thought of as stupid, Louis Gossett JR, Denzel Washington, Cuba Gooding JR, Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Forest Whitaker, Morgan Freeman. But, out of 88 years, this number should be so much higher, talent is not limited to ethnicity. I did look up the prior Oscars to see what the winners were for and it seems like more African-Americans are/were being nominated for behind the scenes such as in sound productions and artists songs in movies. I do know that there are wonderful and super talented African-American producers who are not getting the recognition they deserve. I feel like the white producers, screenwriters and directors are trying to stay too PC when telling an African-American story and they are not telling a complete story and that is limiting the number of outstanding African-American roles. However, many of the African-American producers, screenwriters and directors are saying that it is even getting harder for them to get financed to tell their complete story. At the same time, to me at least, the caliber of all actors/actresses and especially movies have declined. Slapstick comedy is growing. The film industry seems to have hit a point that out of maybe 5 movies 1 might be a blockbuster. As far as the Academy Members who cast the votes, well, this whole process needs to change. We cannot live in a world that we want everyone to be equal if we still have major organizations like this who are stuck in the past. There needs to be a mix-up in the Academy members, there needs to be new, younger and more diverse members who are casting these votes, those who will actually watch the movies that are being released and willing to watch all types of movies no matter who is in it.
    The one thing that I see that was brought up many times in this blog was about the statistical numbers of ethnic backgrounds in the U.S. and honestly I do not see how that is of any relevance to how many non-white actors/actresses that there can be both in movies or nominated, I do see the point on the statistical numbers of those who are in movies. Basically what I get out of those who are posting that statistically there is a balance of non-white in movies by the statistical numbers in the U.S. is saying that since there are xxxx number of one ethnicity that by only having a handful of that ethnic stars is ok. I mean really C’MON man. Ridiculous. To many people even some stars the Oscars are not a big deal many say (even some stars) that the stars get their rewards by the selling of their movies, but everyone likes to have their hard work noticed and if that is from the Oscar nomination then why is it any of our business to say the way they want their reward is stupid or arrogant. That is their “employee of the month” plaque, employees still get their pay for their good work but that extra notice is a great feeling.

  26. rlgrblog says:

    I cannot understand why some actors were so bent out of shape this year because of the lack of diversity in nominations.The entertainment business has always been discriminatory and the practice is demonstrated on a daily basis. Actors should not find this as some big surprise because of the Oscars. Auditions often call for only beautiful,only Asian,only Black, only petite, only 5’5…I mean the only(s) are endless. I believe that the argument would have been stronger if the opposition came years ago in Hollywood for the lack of diversity. I would not want attention to be brought up and the award show start giving awards to satisfy and simmer the conversation down. I honestly have always had a problem with the awards received by African Americans because its always for roles that I consider subordinate or less than appealing. I mean its history but honor the come-up of minority people as well.

  27. essking says:

    The situation with the Oscars was not an issue that I took to heart. One year I may watch, and the next I may forget that it even exists. The only true regard that I have towards the situation is that people and the media are so quick to turn it into a black and white thing. I have not heard of any other minorities taking a stance against the discrimination and there are several Oscar worthy minority actors and actresses that have been snubbed in the past. Also, I watched the interview with Stacey Dash where she recommends putting an end to BET and Black History Month. I wonder when was the last time she watched BET. Seems to me as if all of her relevance at this point stems from either Clueless, where she played the black best friend, or the washed up black movies she played in that didn’t even make it to theaters. She may want to thank BET for taking the time to actually play those movies… but I digress!

  28. Christopher Cary says:

    The main argument for the boycott is that there are some extremely talented and distinguished black actors that have put in time and effort that have not been recognized by the Oscars. Everyone wonders why Will Smith, Tyler Perry, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freemon, Idris Elba, Michael B Jordan, and many more have not won an Oscar. What makes these actors and actresses(not mentioned) less note worthy? Only those on the board will know when they make their selection next year.

  29. gljackson33 says:

    Personally, I’m not a of the Oscars. It is not diverse enough when it comes to winning one. There are so many talented Black actors and actresses that have played roles that deserves a Oscar. They are not winning, more Whites are winning. It is time to give credit where credit is due.

  30. T Leggett says:

    I’m by no means an expert in gauging whether a movie or actor should be an Oscar nominee and ultimately a winner and to be honest I’ve never even watched an Oscars show and while I’m being honest here, I don’t really watch movies or television that much and on the rare occasions that I do watch movies it’s typically entertaining foolishness that involves car chases, fantasy or maybe a romantic comedy…definitely not “Oscar” worthy material!
    But I would have to be living under a rock to not understand that the Oscars is “Good ol’ Boy” cliquish, which is problematic on so many levels. What’s alarming for me is that the actions of the Oscars are merely a representation of our society as a whole where the majority wants to say that “we have overcome” but their actions speak another language that see limitations placed on the values and contributions of people simply based on the color of their skin due to implicit biases, overt racism, stereotyping, social marginalization, and so on and so on.
    Until this is addressed, there will always be the “oh so white” Oscars. Ms. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President, has expressed her frustrations [I can definitely emphasize with her position] and intends to make changes however I must say that I’m skeptical as this has been going on for some time but when folks are talking about being no shows, which may impact ratings, money etc. then we need to make changes.
    Thus, I won’t ever be in a position to agree with or understand Stacy Dash’s premise that an end to Black Entertainment Television is necessary because BET, Black History Month et al. are about exclusion and thus are a part of the bigger problems with ending segregation; for me institutions like BET are not about separation they are about uplifting and acknowledging the accomplishments of individuals who oftentimes as seen in this year’s Oscars are ignored and relegated to the fringes of society. It would be wonderful it such institutions weren’t necessary however we are not there yet.

  31. jkhamman says:

    I did notice this more recently when the Oscars did not recognize any minority actors. We have many famous great minority actors that never get recognize for their work. The film industry is a close circle that does not want anyone from outside their circle to intrude. This thought process has hurt many minority from being apart of the Oscar. We also are letting the film industry discourage young minorities from trying to be a part of the film industry.

  32. India Wilcox says:

    This situation just reminds me of everyday life of minorities and just African American minorities, all people of color. This is what goes on in workplaces, schools, sports, businesses, you name it! This just so happen to hit the entertainment world at a time when race division in America is already at an all time high. We have to stop this separation among each other. At the end of this lifetime it will be about more than our races its about eternal destination

  33. D.Breland says:

    Hollywood. Why is it important? Well, how many teens right now can tell us about their favorite actors and actress on the spot versus sharing their favorite philosopher? Exactly. I’m sure the teen who does read philosophy books is getting bullied in school. Why? Because mainstream society wants you bogged down to materials. Car, clothes, social media. Those who are enlightened go and bury themselves into academia where they can feel safe and welcomed and keep their kneeled with them. So others have to suffer without these peoples intellect and deal with Kim Kardashians take on social policy.
    I understand racism, and there are no blacks in Hollywood. Well, we live in a white country. Black takes up what, 16% of the population? White people take up most of the country and how many become Hollywood stars? Not saying that racism doesn’t exist in show business, but let’s be real here with numbers.

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