The academy failed to nominate any minorities in the Oscar nominations this year. Students at BYU-Idaho campus discuss whether or not they think the Oscars are racist and if the academy should nominate more minority actors.
“I absolutely do believe that the academy discriminates based on race as well as many casting directors of major movies,” said Kaitlin HaeHae, a freshman studying Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Theatre and Dance. “This is the second year in a row where every and all acting nominees are white.”
HaeHae said that despite the fact that Chris Rock is hosting the Academy Awards, that does not mean the academy is fair in who they select as nominees.
“This system is a monster of circularity,” according to The New Yorker website. “The Oscars are chosen by the overwhelmingly white academy, whose members are chosen from the overwhelmingly white movie industry, and it overwhelmingly bestows awards on white creators, thus sustaining and reinforcing the industry’s overwhelming whiteness, which is then replicated and perpetuated in the academy.”
Actors such as Idis Elba in Beasts of No Nation, Will Smith in Concussion, Michael B. Jordan in Creed, and Ryan Coogler as the writer-director, and the cast of Straight Outta’ Compton were ignored for nominations, according to CNN.
“I am disappointed in the academy as well as casting directors for completely ignoring the talent of people of color,” HaeHae said.
In an interview with US Magazine, Whoopi Goldberg said there are no minorities on screen to vote for, even if the Academy had minorities, so that doesn’t solve the problem.
“I don’t feel that the Oscars is discriminating based on race,” said Kaylee Plumb, a junior studying theatre. “The Oscars nominate based on talent and the pool of actors they have to choose from. It’s not really their fault that most of the films released recently had mainly white actors.”
Plumb said that there are talented minority actors who deserve an Oscar, but there were not enough black actors in films this year to choose from.
“Complaining about how actors at the Oscars being mainly white is like complaining that the actors in Bollywood are mainly Indian,” said Plumb. “It’s not like there is a huge amount of other races in the film industry in the United States.”
Plumb said she feels the film industry would eventually die because audiences want diversity in films.
“You want to boycott something?” Goldberg said in an interview with US Magazine. “Don’t go see the movies that don’t have your representation. That’s the boycott you want.”
The academy board said its goal was to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the academy by 2020, according to The Guardian website.
“If people are serious about changing the racial images presented to us in popular media, then maybe it’s time to not only speak out, but to move out and boycott non-ethically diverse films, TV and awards shows” according to The Huffington Post.