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|
|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.
|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|
|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|
|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.
|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.
|Academy Award for Best Cinematography|
|1998||Remi Adefarasin||Elizabeth||Nominated||First black person to be nominated for Best Cinematography.|
Best Costume Design
|Academy Award for Best Costume Design|
|1992||Ruth E. Carter||Malcolm X||Nominated||First African-American person (male or female) to be nominated for Best Costume Design.|
|Academy Award for Best Director|
|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