Oscars So White

The 2016 Oscars are tonight, and it is receiving mixed reactions from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and black Twitter. The reason being that for the second year in a row, all of the actor nominees are white.

There’s a hashtag trending the phenomenon: #Oscarssowhite. Some black actors could care less, such as Ice Cube (who doesn’t show up at The Oscars anyways), who shared his opinions on the Graham Norton show, “We don’t do movies for the industry. We do movies for the fans, for the people. If they give you a trophy or not…it’s nice, but it’s not something that you should dwell on.”

Other actors are boycotting The Oscars until there’s better representation of black people at award shows, apart from roles as presenters or hosts (Chris Rock is this year’s host, so expect some jokes).

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are very open about their refusal to attend the show. Jada even took to twitter to post a video stating her opinion, “At The Oscars … people of color are always welcomed to give out awards … even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating altogether?” Janet Hubert, a former costar of Will Smith, responded with a differing perspective. She thought that Jada was over privileged and that there were far more concerning things going on, including police brutality, and that her attention would be better placed elsewhere.

Just how pertinent is #Oscarssowhite? Is it really necessary to boycott an event just because you’re not nominated for a prize? Whether it is or not, it is concerning that in 2016, Black actors still aren’t receiving all of the credit that they should be when it comes to The Academy.

Kelsey Fama, a fellow student at TCNJ, stated, “There’s increasing roles for people of color, but diminishing nominations,” when asked on the matter. Chris Rock tweeted an ad for The Oscars referring to it as the white BET awards. This joke is so painfully true, because it reminds us that so many black actors and singers need the BET awards to receive the recognition that they so rightly deserve. Can we send this to Stacey Dash?

Hopefully next Oscar season, we will see diversity in the nominees, and Will Smith can finally get an Oscar. For now, let’s all root for Leo to finally get his Oscar for “The Revenant”.

Since then The Academy reacted to the growing controversy, and instilled new rules to diversify the membership, by doubling the number of women and minorities and more, by 2020.

The president of The Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said "We've been a more than predominantly white institution for a long time. We thought we've got to change this and reflect the community much better."