Check your social media. The upcoming Oscars is trending. The conversation of whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio will finally get an award, however, is belittled by #OscarsSoWhite.
The 88th Academy Awards recently underwent heavy scrutiny for its lack of diversity. According to research conducted by Gracenote, more than 95 percent of the nominees are white. Only one Hispanic and one Asian were nominated.
Several notable black actors were also snubbed after brilliant performances, like Will Smith in “Concussion” (2015) and Michael B. Jordan in “Creed” (2015). Although the film “Straight out of Compton” (2015) featured several critically-acclaimed black actors, it was only nominated for best screenplay.
In response, several celebrities announced they will be boycotting the event, including actress Jada Pinkett Smith (“Gotham”), director Spike Lee (“Chi-Raq”), and actor Will Smith. In an interview with BBC, actor Mark Ruffallo (“The Avengers: Age of Ultron”) also said he was “weighing whether to attend the Oscars.”
Undoubtedly, there is a problem here. Diving deeper into the issue, it’s interesting to note that 93 percent of Academy Award voters are white, according to a report by LA Times (2013). It is unfair, however, to point fingers at them as if they are single-handedly perpetuating prejudice and racial divide. The issue here stretches far beyond the Academy.
Based on Gracenote’s database of 26,000 celebrities, they determined that nearly 80 percent of Hollywood’s makeup is predominantly white. About nine percent is black, seven percent is Asian, and four percent is Hispanic/Latino. Moreover, this racial makeup is reflective of the nation’s racial demographics. According to the U.S. Census (2014), 62 percent of the nation is white, 17 percent is Hispanic and 13 percent is black.
Does the Oscars have a personal vendetta against people of color? Doubtful. The statistics here are fairly representative of the nation as a whole. The facts are simple. But we won’t force our opinion. Instead, consider this article a summary of data to better inform your own opinion of the upcoming Oscars.
The Huntingtonian editorial is written by the staff. It reflects the viewpoints of the editors and does not represent the viewpoint of the university.