Time to chip in on the Oscar diversity debate.
Having seen all of the films that have been up for Oscar contention there have only been 3 with black actors in, Concussion which is a good performance from Will Smith but the overall film comes off very average, Michael B Jordan is great as Creed and it could be debate that he could have had a nomination over Bryan Cranston but how can the Academy not nominate a guy for playing a character they blacklisted for his beliefs. The final movie that should have been looked at is Beasts of No Nation which is an incredible film but due to it being a Netflix film it has been over looked or not considered for judgement.
When you look at the best picture nominations you need to look at the studios that have gone heavy on the true stories involving white characters, The Revenant, The Big Short, Spotlight, Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, Steve Jobs and Joy. You also look at the fact Mad Max was an established character. this leaves on Room which they picked who they thought was the BEST ACTRESS for the role, The Martian a character written as a white character, and Brooklyn which is about an Irish girl meeting an Italian in America.
The question remains do the academy just nominate a minority to keep everyone happy even if the performances are not good enough?
We look back on the years and see in 2015 and see a Mexican director won Best Picture (Birdman) in a year where yet again the studios made true white people stories the big films, American Sniper, The Imitation Game (which in its own right is telling a very important story of one man’s troubles against the world because of his sexuality) The Theory of Everything, Foxcatcher and Selma which was a brilliant performance that DID get ignored.
2014 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture and Chiwetel Ejiofor only missed out to a brilliant Matthew McConaughey and Barkhad Adbi for Captain Philips also only missed to Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club. Lupita Nyong’o DID win Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave and a Mexican Won Best Director.
The next question is how do we solve this diversity problem Hollywood seems to be going through.
Option one – we have a larger number of films for best picture nowadays between 8-10 each year, why not have 8 for each category this gives a larger number of actors/actress to get their work noticed, the problem with this is that some of the selection will only be placed in this category to fill the numbers.
Option two – Open up the Oscars to different genres so the more commercial films do get the praise the audience they receive being considered Best at something. The problem with this is the acting isn’t always brilliant in these films and it will turn more into the MTV Awards.
Option three – Accept that the BEST performances have been chosen over any race, religious belief or prejudice. This is the controversial pick but what if the best performance has been picked and selecting anybody because they are different is disrespectful to them and the person that misses out.
My final closing points would be that no Asian actor has been nominated for much longer period of time, or any Asian film except for Studio Ghibli.
Is there a racial problem in Hollywood? Yes but it is the studios that start this problem, we also need to look at human history as see how badly Black people were treated in the past, We see Hollywood make real life stories but because of history we don’t have enough stories about the Black persons struggle that are recorded while the White man flourished with the stories of accomplishment that were recorded. I am not saying anybody’s stories are more important but this is going to take time to change but in a world where people still look at each differently instead of one species we need to treat each person as the individual they are not the colour of their skin, sexual preference or religious belief.