The 2016 Oscar Nominations hit this morning, revealing a complete shutout of people of color in major categories. For example:
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Micheal Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
These particular categories did not reflect the great work of successful non-white majority films of the year. Films like Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation was completely shut out, even though actor Idris Elba gave a stellar and dynamic performance as a leader of child soldiers. Movies like Straight Outta Compton, one of the highest grossing films of 2015, had great performances all around but the film was only nominated for Best Original Screenplay. It would have made sense if Creed’s Ryan Coogler and Straight Outta Compton’s F. Gary Gray received Best Directing nominations. Those films offered some of the best directing this year and there is no recognition for the people who created them.
Every year, the Oscars focus on films that no one has seen in theaters. The smaller the film, the better for the Academy, but there were too many great popular films to exclude them all. Shutouts have been common place following the 2013 Oscars, when Gravity and 12 Years a Slave (two films directed by POC) dominated the show.
Many people would point out that Chris Rock is hosting, but he will more than likely be the only major Black face you see who is not handing out awards to white filmmakers. Twitter users resurrected @ReignofApril ‘s #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsStillSoWhite to show that progressive Hollywood has a long way to go.
— Black Hermione (@MissNikkiStar) January 14, 2016
— Craig Norenbergs (@CraigNorenbergs) January 14, 2016
— Pimp Name Slickback (@KuntaGotHoes) January 14, 2016
#OscarsSoWhite that Rocky got nominated in a movie about Apollo Creed's son.
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) January 14, 2016
— BlackGirlGeeks (@BlackGirlGeeks) January 14, 2016
I cannot deal with the Black folks who are gonna be talking about "build your own awards shows" today. I really can't. #OscarsSoWhite
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) January 14, 2016
— PrestonMitchum (@PrestonMitchum) January 14, 2016
NO nominations for the following black filmmakers #OscarsSoWHITE it hurts -Idris Elba -Michael B. Jordan & Ryan Coogler -Will Smith
— Kerri Lyn (@GoddessKerriLyn) January 14, 2016
A five minute opening by brilliant Chris Rock will not make up for over 80 years of erasure of marginalized communities. #OscarsSoWhite
— April (@ReignOfApril) January 14, 2016
#OscarsSoWhite: Year two.
— Glenn Whipp (@GlennWhipp) January 14, 2016
2 Asians, 1 Latino, & 4 black men have won Best Actor in all of 87 years but it's Leo we're always yelling justice for? #OscarsSoWhite
— clara mae (@ubeempress) January 13, 2016