Like last year, Oscar nominations from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences included not one black actor or filmmaker in the top categories, and people are upset. Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith and others will boycott the award ceremony in February, and #OscarsSoWhite is trending on Twitter.
The Academy has responded by promising to prioritize diversity for the organization. Much of the criticism is about the make-up of the group itself:
A Los Angeles Times study found that academy voters are markedly less diverse than the moviegoing public, and even more monolithic than many in the film industry may suspect. Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male, The Times found. Blacks are about 2% of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2%.
Oscar voters have a median age of 62, the study showed. People younger than 50 constitute just 14% of the membership.
President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, one of two non-white members of The Academy issued this statement in response to the controversy.
Why does the statement look as though it were written on a typewriter? This can't help The Academy's image as a bunch of old, out-of-touch people. Also, I have long stopped double-spacing between sentences based on style guides and this sound advice from PR Daily.
- Assess The Academy's response. How well did Boone address concerns?
- What will you do? If you typically watch the awards ceremony, will you boycott this year? Why or why not? What do you think the actors should do?