Moments ago, the nominations for the Oscars 2016 were announced. And while the list brought with it an honor for Urban hit ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ glaringly apparent was one worrying fact:
Not a single actor or actress of color received a nomination in any of the in the four main acting categories. This despite 20 slots in total being up for grabs.
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The revelation will only serve to fuel movements such as the #OscarsSoWhite cause, which calls for greater diversity from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Publicly, the body has made some effort to make the membership more inclusive – inviting 322 new members this past Summer; adding the likes of ‘Selma’ star David Oyelowo, and ”Compton’ director F. Gary Gray into their mix.
One has to wonder how much of an impact that move made.
Important to highlight, however, is that the voting panel are ultimately at the mercy of the industry itself and whatever films are produced and released in a given year.
And within the eligibility window, it’s arguable that only a handful of award-caliber films focused on ethnic stories. Pictures such as Compton and African-based ‘Beasts of No Nation’ serving as the most prominent.
From an acting standpoint, waving the flag for Black actors in prominent roles were the likes of Will Smith in ‘Concussion,’ Michael B. Jordan in ‘Creed,’ Idris Elba in ‘Beasts’ and Samuel L. Jackson in ‘The Hateful Eight.’
Were any of those movies or performances nomination worthy? We argue “yes” (resoundingly), but will (as ever) throw it over to you.