Hollywood B(l)acklash

I want to post my opinion about the Oscars & the boycotting that is being called for. It’s not my wish to “whitesplain” or speak for anyone. I just have a reaction & an opinion and want to express my own feelings of dismay over this in my blog. I will get into this later. I Feel; its more involved than a lack of nominees. Some (non POC) say its a lack of qualified nominees. I digress. HOWEVER if that were true the reason for that wouldn’t simply just be a lack of qualified actors interested in good Oscar worthy roles. Just as Hollywood still plays sexist stereotypes so to does it racial ones. I think now is the time we can have strong female characters & show they can be a box office draw but the people in  power are still playing by old rules. WE are at a time when lead roles can be filled by more than muscled white men & be a box office draw, but too many execs don’t want to stretch themselves & read a new playbook.

More on this later but you get my gist…

“Diversity is America’s superpower.” – Will Smith

So when this first came to my attention, I really had not thought about it that much. Admittedly part of that is privilege &* part of that is I’m just not that into Hollywood Awards shows. That said, I feel this important. Its important because Hollywood & all forms of media surround us, reinforce societal ideals and give us ways in which some people view life. It is important that all forms of media reflect all facets of society.

That said, diversity in the movies is held back by a history of racism, sexism, segregation, lesser pay, ideals of masculinity and femininity, stereotypes of how people are viewed, opportunities, privilege and so much more.

First off, we are now finally at a point in time where there are more than white actors in leading roles, but we’re still catching up. There are actors and actresses just starting out in Hollywood that need to reach major star status too. Currently if you ask a random person to list actors of color they can probably list of the big names (Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith), and while that is great, chances are most people will list those same names when asked that same question, There is a limited number of leading man actors (or leading actors in general) that are not white. There’s a handful of leading Hispanic, Italian, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, etc actors.  Hollywood needs to diversify much more for there to be even more of a pool of non-white actors in movie roles and thus up for nominee consideration.

THAT SAID that does not mean the complete absence of non-white nominees is due to a lack of available actors this year. The fact that there are none in a year where there ARE in fact Oscar worthy contenders is shocking. Will Smith should have been nominated for “Concussion.” Michael B. Jordan should have nominated for “Creed.” I have not researched enough to come up with other examples yet, however statistics from the Census Bureau state that people who identify as African American represent 13.2% of the US. Hispanic and Latino identifying people comprise 47% of Census respondents./ I think its not much to ask that the Oscars reflect the population and that Hollywood does the same.

 

For what its worth here is a list of nominees of color from the history of the Oscars: I will do more with this later as well. I want to research how many non-white actors were in leading roles this past year as well as throughout some of history (Besides the nominees listed).

1958 Sidney Poitier The Defiant Ones Noah Cullen Nominated First African-American actor to be nominated for Best Actor.
1963 Lilies of the Field Homer Smith Won First black male to win an Oscar.
First African-American actor to win Best Actor.
First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations (Best Actor).
Youngest African-American actor to win Best Actor (age 37).
1970 James Earl Jones The Great White Hope Jack Jefferson Nominated
1972 Paul Winfield Sounder Nathan Lee Morgan Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1986 Dexter Gordon Round Midnight Dale Turner Nominated First jazz musician to be nominated for Best Actor.
1989 Morgan Freeman Driving Miss Daisy Hoke Colburn Nominated
1992 Denzel Washington Malcolm X Malcolm X Nominated
1993 Laurence Fishburne What’s Love Got to Do with It Ike Turner Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1994 Morgan Freeman The Shawshank Redemption Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding Nominated
1999 Denzel Washington The Hurricane Rubin Carter Nominated
2001 Training Day Alonzo Harris Won Second African-American actor to receive the award for Best Actor.
First time two African-American performers won in leading role Oscars in the same year (Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball).
Will Smith Ali Muhammad Ali Nominated First male hip hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
First time multiple African-American actors received Best Actor nominations.
2004 Jamie Foxx Ray Ray Charles Won First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year.
Don Cheadle Hotel Rwanda Paul Rusesabagina Nominated
2005 Terrence Howard Hustle & Flow DJay Nominated
2006 Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland Idi Amin Won
Will Smith The Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner Nominated
2009 Morgan Freeman Invictus Nelson Mandela Nominated
2012 Denzel Washington Flight William “Whip” Whitaker Nominated Denzel Washington has the most nominations for an African-American Actor: Best Actor (4 nominations) and Best Supporting Actor (2 nominations).
2013 Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave Solomon Northup Nominated First black British actor to be nominated for Best Actor.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1954 Dorothy Dandridge Carmen Jones Carmen Jones Nominated First African-American actress to be nominated for Best Actress.
1972 Diana Ross Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holiday Nominated First African-American actress to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
First time multiple African-American actresses received Best Actress nominations.
Cicely Tyson Sounder Rebecca Morgan Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
First time multiple African-American actresses received Best Actress nominations.
1974 Diahann Carroll Claudine Claudine Nominated
1985 Whoopi Goldberg The Color Purple Celie Johnson Nominated First time multiple African-American actresses received nominations for the same film.
1993 Angela Bassett What’s Love Got to Do with It Tina Turner Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
2001 Halle Berry Monster’s Ball Leticia Musgrove Won First African-American actress to win Best Actress.
First time two African-American performers won in leading role Oscars in the same year (Denzel Washington, Training Day).
2009 Gabourey Sidibe Precious Claireece “Precious” Jones Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Second African-American actress to receive a lead Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
2011 Viola Davis The Help Aibileen Clark Nominated Third film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress categories.
Tied with Whoopi Goldberg as the most nominated African-American actress with 2 nominations.
2012 Quvenzhané Wallis Beasts of the Southern Wild Hushpuppy Nominated Youngest ever Best Actress nominee (aged 9).
Third African-American actress to receive a lead Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1969 Rupert Crosse The Reivers Ned Nominated First African-American actor to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
1981 Howard Rollins Ragtime Coalhouse Walker Jr. Nominated
1982 Louis Gossett, Jr. An Officer and a Gentleman Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley Won First African-American actor to win Best Supporting Actor.
1984 Adolph Caesar A Soldier’s Story Sgt. Waters Nominated
1987 Morgan Freeman Street Smart Fast Black Nominated First time multiple African-American actors received Best Supporting Actor nominations.
Denzel Washington Cry Freedom Steve Biko Nominated
1989 Glory Pvt. Trip Won First African-American actor to receive two Best Supporting Actor nominations.
1992 Jaye Davidson The Crying Game Dil Nominated First black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
Youngest black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination (age 24)
First black British actor to receive an Academy Award nomination.
1994 Samuel L. Jackson Pulp Fiction Jules Winnfield Nominated
1996 Cuba Gooding, Jr. Jerry Maguire Rod Tidwell Won Youngest African-American male actor to win an Academy Award (age 29).
1999 Michael Clarke Duncan The Green Mile John Coffey Nominated
2003 Djimon Hounsou In America Mateo Nominated First black actor born in Africa (specifically in Benin) to receive an Academy Award nomination.
2004 Morgan Freeman Million Dollar Baby Eddie ‘Scrap-Iron’ Dupris Won Oldest African-American actor to win an Academy Award (age 67).
Jamie Foxx Collateral Max Nominated First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year.
2006 Djimon Hounsou Blood Diamond Solomon Vandy Nominated
Eddie Murphy Dreamgirls James ‘Thunder’ Early Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
2013 Barkhad Abdi Captain Phillips Abduwali Muse Nominated Second black actor born in Africa (specifically in Somalia) to receive an Academy Award nomination.
Second black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut performance.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1939 Hattie McDaniel Gone with the Wind Mammy Won First black female to win an Oscar.
First African-American person (or black person of any nationality) to win an Academy Award.
First African-American person to be nominated for acting.
First African-American actress to win Best Supporting Actress.
Oldest African-American actress to win an Academy Award (age 44).
1949 Ethel Waters Pinky Mrs. Dicey Johnson (Pinky’s Granny) Nominated Second African-American person to be nominated for an Academy Award.
1959 Juanita Moore Imitation of Life Annie Johnson Nominated
1967 Carol Channing Thoroughly Modern Millie Muzzy Van Hosmere Nominated First time two African-American actresses were nominated in the same category.
Beah Richards Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Mrs. Prentice Nominated
1983 Alfre Woodard Cross Creek Geechee Nominated
1985 Margaret Avery The Color Purple Shug Avery Nominated Second time multiple African-American actresses received Best Supporting Actress nominations.
First time multiple African-American actresses received nominations for the same film.
Oprah Winfrey Sofia Nominated
1990 Whoopi Goldberg Ghost Oda Mae Brown Won First African-American actress to receive two acting nominations overall.
Second African-American actress to win Best Supporting Actress.
1996 Marianne Jean-Baptiste Secrets & Lies Hortense Cumberbatch Nominated First black British actress to receive an Academy Award nomination.
2002 Queen Latifah Chicago Matron Mama Morton Nominated First female hip hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
2004 Sophie Okonedo Hotel Rwanda Tatiana Rusesabagina Nominated
2006 Jennifer Hudson Dreamgirls Effie White Won First African-American actor (male or female) to win an Academy Award for a debut film performance.
Youngest African-American actress to win or be nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Youngest African-American actor (male or female) to win an Academy Award (age 25).
First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
First African-American actress to win an Academy Award for a musical film.
2007 Ruby Dee American Gangster Mama Lucas Nominated Oldest African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award (age 83).
2008 Viola Davis Doubt Mrs. Miller Nominated Third time two African-American actresses were nominated in the same category.
Taraji P. Henson The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Queenie Nominated
2009 Mo’Nique Precious Mary Lee Johnston Won Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
2011 Octavia Spencer The Help Minny Jackson Won Third film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress.
2013 Lupita Nyong’o 12 Years a Slave Patsey Won First black African (Kenyan) actress to be nominated.
First black African to win in any category.
Second black actor to win for a debut performance.

Best Cinematography

Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1998 Remi Adefarasin Elizabeth Nominated First black person to be nominated for Best Cinematography.

Best Costume Design

Academy Award for Best Costume Design
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1992 Ruth E. Carter Malcolm X Nominated First African-American person (male or female) to be nominated for Best Costume Design.
1997 Amistad Nominated
2004 Sharen Davis Ray Nominated
2006 Dreamgirls Nominated

Best Director

Academy Award for Best Director
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1991 John Singleton Boyz n the Hood Nominated First African-American person to be nominated for Best Director.
Youngest person ever nominated in this category (age 24).
2009 Lee Daniels Precious Nominated Second African-American person to earn a Best Director nomination.
First African-American director to earn a Best Picture nomination.
2013 Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave Nominated First black British person to earn a Best Director nomination.
First black director to direct a Best Picture winning film.
First black directo
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