If you remember last year, the controversial campaign #OscarsSoWhite trended online after the 2016 Academy Award nominations were announced. Only white actors and actresses were among the chosen few in the top four categories: best actress, best actor, best picture and best director. On January 24th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 2017 Oscar Nominees in Beverly Hills, California.
The nominees included six black actors and actresses and one filmmaker. “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures,” both starring black actors, were nominated for the Best Picture category. Fandango correspondent Chris Witherspoon shared with CBS News that “2017 will go down as a historic year for black actors in film.”
However, people were taking over Twitter, proclaiming that there is still work to be done. While there were seven black nominees this Oscar season, many raised another point. It is not just about black and white actors in Hollywood. It’s about the lack of nominations consisting of people of color in general. People get confused. Diversity is not just a black-or-white issue. Hollywood still has a lot of work to do when it comes to diversity.
April Reign, creator of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, told Entertainment Weekly, “Let’s remember that #OscarsSoWhite is not just about race, and definitely not just about the black race. While we’ve had some forward movement, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.”
Hollywood is lacking in roles for Latinos and Asians. Women filmmakers have also been frequently excluded from award season. In 2009, Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director and was the first woman ever to do so. That was just 8 years ago. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy president, believes that increasing diversity within the Academy with more minorities and females will be the start to this change. Her goal is to increase this number exponentially by 2020.
Be sure to tune in to the 89th Academy Award ceremony Sunday, February 26th at 7 p.m. ET on ABC, to see what’s mentioned about the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite campaign.
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