Friday, January 16, 2015

Academy Award Snubs Lead to Viral Hashtag #OscarsSoWhite

 photo selma_ver2.jpg

The Academy Awards bore most of us senseless because: (A) many of us out in the heartland aren't able to see some of the films, and (B) the choices leave us scratching our heads. And whenever I see a movie that I think is Oscar-worthy, you can bet it will be immediately snubbed by the Academy, or thrown a "special effects" or "costumes" award. Another complaint I have is they often highlight films about women falling apart mentally or being victims of violence. So I don't even click on Oscar stories anymore.

But this week's Oscar snubs couldn't be swept under the rug as Hollywood chose to ignore actors of color and the movie "Selma" and Twitter rose to the occasion with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite started by @ReignOfApril and picked up by the national news media.

MTV Interview with April Reign @ReignOfApril
“It’s disconcerting that every single year, we can count the people of color who are nominated on one hand,” April Reign, the attorney and blogger at who started the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, told MTV News over the phone. “That really needs to change. It’s not because there’s a lack of quality films that star or feature people of color; that’s not the issue. There was an article in The Atlantic recently which indicated who the Oscar voters are. They are 94 percent white, 76 percent male, and the average age is 63 years old … and they might not be as interested in seeing ‘Selma.’”
. . . “How is it that you can nominate a film for Best Picture, but then not nominate it for anything in any of the other categories?” Reign asked. “How is it a Best Picture if the screenplay isn’t nomination-worthy, or the actors, the actresses, the director, the cinematography? If nothing else is Oscar-worthy, then what makes it a best film? I’m happy for the nomination, but part of me says, ‘Maybe they just threw us a bone.’”

From USA Today
. . . Thursday's 2015 Academy Awards nominations, which have come under fire for a glaring lack of diversity. Social media erupted after the slate revealed that the 20 contenders for lead and supporting actor and actress are all white for the first time since 1998.
"It was a total blow, it was like getting hit in the stomach," says regional Fox network film critic Shawn Edwards, who runs the website "It was like, 'Here we go again.' "
. . . Selma, centered around Martin Luther King Jr.'s civil rights struggle, received two nominations, for best picture and best song. The film's Golden Globe-nominated director Ava DuVernay, who would have made history as the first female African-American director nominee, was notably shut out. So was her much-touted star David Oyelowo.

From Entertainment Online
Not only were the acting categories filled with white men and women, the Academy also seemed to snub women as a whole in other major categories such as directing and original/adapted screenplay. We're looking at you, Angelina Jolie, Gillian Flynn and Ava DuVernay.
"I guess white men can *finally* have their day in the sun, you know? #OscarNoms," tweeted another user.
The last time the acting contenders were only white was in 2011, and before that it hadn't occurred since 1998.

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