The Oscars have come under fire this year for the lack of diversity amongst the 2016 nominees.
The 2016 Academy Award nominations were announced last week, and shortly after, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite started trending on Twitter. Why?
See: Oscars 2016: Full List Of Nominations…
Well, the public couldn’t help but notice that pretty much all of the nominated actors were white. Which is surprising, considering 2015 was a year which saw a huge amount of diversity amongst the lead roles in some of the highest-grossing films.
Fear not, though, Mr Donald Trump has spoken out, and now we can all relax…
Referring to an interview he had heard on Fox News, Trump said he picked up on a brilliant point: “What do we do with BET, Black Entertainment? Right? So, there the whites don’t get any nominations.”
Erm. We KNOW. That’s not all.
He added, “it was an amazing interview actually,” and that he had “never even thought of it from that standpoint”.
We can’t help but think that he’s on his own there.
On the other hand, Oscars host Chris Rock is NOT happy.
Calling out the situation with a perfect tweet, the comedian wrote alongside a video of himself introducing this year’s Oscars: ‘The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.’
And he’s not the only one, either. Jada Pinkett Smith also got angry on Twitter over the weekend, asking if black actors and actresses should give up altogether.
‘At the Oscars… people of color are always welcomed to give out awards … even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments’, the Gotham star tweeted. ‘Should people of color refrain from participating all together?’ And she’s now posted a video on her Facebook boycotting the Oscars ceremony all together and stated she wont even be watching it on her TV screen. On Monday she said:
“Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday, and I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?”
“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful,” Jada continues. “So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.”
Star Wars actress Lupita Nyong’o also said she was “disappointed by the lack of inclusion” in the Oscars line up this year on her Instagram:
“I am disappointed by the lack of inclusion in this year’s Academy Awards nominations,” she posted. “It has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture. The Awards should dictate the terms of art in our modern society, but rather be a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today”.
Now Clueless actress Stacey Dash has weighed in on the matter, with some controversial comments on Fox News. “I think it’s ludicrous,” she said. “We have to make up our minds. Either we want segregation or intergration and if we don’t then we have to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard.”
However, many people have taken to Twitter to disagree with her, especially as Stacey once appeared on “The Game” a TV show that appeared on the network and BET were quick to tweet the actress and say “can we get our check back?”
Meanwhile, George Clooney who has won two Academy Awards has spoken out saying, “we need to get better at this.”
Despite huge films like Selma and Straight Outta Compton being released last year, there were zero nominations for the black actors featured in those movies. In fact, the only nomination for Straight Outta Compton went to the two white screenplay writers. Hmm.
Many also expected Will Smith to get a nod for Concussion, or Idris Elba, in Beasts of No Nation. And what about Samuel L. Jackson’s brilliant performance in The Hateful Eight?!
It’s certainly worrying, but at least actors like Rock and Smith are giving the issue the airtime it deserves.
What do you think of the controversy? Let us know below…