CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Oscars Shun Women, Men Make Up 80% of Nominees

Variety: A debate about diversity has roiled the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars every year. For two straight years, the awards body was slammed for failing to nominate minorities in the major acting categories. When nominations were announced last week, however, it seemed like this year’s crop of honorees were a more inclusive bunch. Seven out of the 20 acting nominees were people of color, tying a record set in 2007. It was a group that included Octavia Spencer, Denzel Washington, and Viola Davis, with the best picture nominees boasting three films — “Moonlight,” “Hidden Figures,” and “Fences” — that deal with the subject of race.

1 comment:

Sarah Boyle said...

I don’t blame the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences so much for the low non-actor female recognition. Yes, there is a problem with diversity in Hollywood, but it seemed over the last few years that the Academy was choosing to ignore people of color in their nominees. Obviously, it is not as though 7 out of 20 nominees means we can move on because we just achieved racial equality. But trying to ensure behind the scenes diversity poses its own set of challenges. Diversity on screen can lead to debates about what a specific character should or must or can look like. But behind the scenes, you just don’t see it. You could look up members of a crew later to find how diverse it was, but you don’t just see it. I think that extra step means that we pay less attention. Besides, it’s hard to hold an industry accountable when the problem can’t even reach the award level. In some ways, the awards can be helpful in exposing these disparities. Maybe someday there will be a real debate about getting rid of the actor/actress category to be more inclusive.