African-Americans Aren’t The Only Ones Snubbed By The Academy

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Just one month before the Oscars are to be held, the Academy is receiving criticism from all sides because this is the second year in a row that the nominees are ‘so white.’ The term “White Oscars” has once again surfaced and people are furious that not a single black person has gotten a nomination in any of the major categories. However, in the midst of controversy, we seem to have forgotten that black people are not the only minority in the U.S.

Namely, African Americans are sadly not the only ones who have been “shunned” from the Oscars this year. It’s every other minority, including Latinos, Asians and indigenous actors. The only exceptions are Iñárritu and Lubezki for best director and cinematographer, respectively. To make matters worse, not a single Asian actress has won an Oscar in over 50 years and it’s been 54 years a Latina took an award home.

This racial and ethnic unease is reminiscent of Greg Braxton’s 1999 report for the LA Times, which was titled “Fall TV Lacks Diversity.” This was a time when President of the NAACP Kweise Mfume stated that the major English-language broadcast networks were perpetuating “virtual whitewash in programming,” adding that that year a total of 26 comedies and dramas debuted without a single show including a minority in a lead role.

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StacieStauffSmith Photos / Shutterstock.com

Now, seventeen years later, the Academy finds itself in the same casting predicament. Even though there’s been much talk about diversity internships, showcases and writers programs, Hollywood is yet to show that they’re actually doing anything about the issue.

The problem is that the diversity discussed here is based on an outdated paradigm, where in reality the concern needs to be triangulated to include both African-Americans and other minorities such as Latinos, Native Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders. When put together, these minorities represent 35% of the country.

A 2014 statistical report by the Motion Pictures Association of America stated that Hispanics are more likely than any other ethnic group to purchase movie tickets, a total of 23% when compared to their share of the population, which is 17%. African Americans and Hispanics reported the highest attendance per capita per year for the first time since 2014, attending the cinema 5.2 times per year on average.

In conclusion, it’s high time the Academy stopped putting down some of their best supporters. All minorities deserve a fair shot at winning an award for their respective art and this is an issue that the Academy needs to deal with before people really start boycotting.
[related]BLACK FIGURES IN THE MOVIE BUSINESS CALL FOR A BOYCOTT OF THE “WHITE OSCARS”[/related]

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