#OscarsSoWhite: why are these the least diverse Oscars in more than a decade?

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Congratulations, Academy Awards. This year’s Oscar nominations are the least diverse in more than a decade. And this is the year after 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture too! All of the nominated actors this year are white. All of the Best Director nominees are dudes, and four of them are white (Alejandro G. Iñárritu is Mexican). Almost all of the films nominated for Best Picture are about dudes and dude-struggles. As I said yesterday, I wasn’t expecting Angelina Jolie to get nominated for Best Director, but I was holding out hope that Selma director Ava DuVernay would break the glass ceiling for African-American female directors. But nope – Selma was only nominated for Best Picture and Best Song. So, anyway, #OscarsSoWhite became a major trending topic on Twitter and everyone of social media had stuff to say about the lack of diversity on display at this year’s Oscars.

For what it’s worth, I think Selma was going to be the best shot at “diversity nominations” this year, and Selma’s Oscar chances were hampered by a long post-production. I’ve heard several times that the Selma screeners went out late and that if Selma had come out a month earlier with a bigger press push, the film would have been a huge contender across the board, with major nominations for DuVernay and for David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr. And I do think most of these awards show will end up regretting the Selma snubs, especially when they look back and see who they did nominate in Selma’s place. I mean, Bradley Cooper? Meryl Streep AGAIN? (I love Meryl, but did she really need to be nominated again? Nope.)

As for the all-white nominees, they’re very happy with their nominations, thank you very much. I do feel a bit sorry for some of these people because now they’re being used as the poster-children for the lack of diversity in Hollywood. Why would you put that all on poor Eddie Redmayne? Or Julianne Moore? It’s not their fault! Anyway, here are some of my favorite reactions from the Oscar nominees, including Benedict Cumberbatch making a cricket reference because WE GET IT, YOU’RE WHITE. #OscarsSoWhite Bendy won’t shut about cricket.

Benedict Cumberbatch: “I am knocked for six by this. So excited and honored to receive this recognition. It’s wonderful to be included by the Academy in this exceptional year of performances. To ring my parents who are both actors and tell them that their only son has been nominated for an Oscar is one of the proudest moments of my life.”

Emma Stone: “Well, this is surreal. I am completely knocked out. Thank you to the Academy for this incredible honor. I am very proud and lucky to be a part of Birdman and can’t believe it came to this. I am so f—ing excited. Are you allowed to say f— when you’re making a statement for the Oscars? I’m just really f—ing excited.”

Eddie Redmayne: “I’m so incredibly honored to be recognized by the Academy, and even more thrilled to share this honor with the entire family of filmmakers, cast, and crew of ‘The Theory of Everything..’ This role was a once in a lifetime experience. Congratulations to my fellow nominees, thank you to the Academy, and thank you most of all to Stephen and Jane Hawking.”

Julianne Moore: “I am over the moon – actually I am on a plane, flying over the United States. My old friend Bruce Cohen was the first to reach me to tell me the news. I can’t believe that I have gone from doing plays in the 8th grade with Bruce Cohen, to him texting me 100 years later to tell me about an Oscar nomination. I feel so lucky and proud to be in the company of the other talented actors who were nominated today. My heart is beating so fast!”

JK Simmons: “Wow. This is pretty darned cool. A guy doesn’t think about things like this when he starts doing summer theatre in Bigfork, Montana in the 70′s. (In fact, I didn’t think about this when we shot ‘Whiplash,’ but here we are). I’m ecstatic that our little movie is nominated for best picture, and equally thrilled that Damien, The Boy Wonder, is being recognized for his work. Richly deserved. I’d also like to congratulate the Academy on their very wise choices of nominating Tom Cross, our editor, and Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley our sound mixers. Huge congrats to Damien, and producers Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster and Couper Samuelson on our best picture nod. I’m humbled, and very grateful to the members of the Academy for this honor.”

[From E! News and People Magazine]

Does anyone else love that JK Simmons didn’t name Miles Teller specifically in his thank yous? Amazing. Suck it, Miles! I love Emma’s reaction, she’s adorable. And Benedict mentioning that he was his parents’ only son? It made me give him a small eye-roll. I mean, I’m sure Wanda and Timothy are very proud of their son, but Benedict always humble-brags about eclipsing them professionally.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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269 Responses to “#OscarsSoWhite: why are these the least diverse Oscars in more than a decade?”

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  1. Abbott says:

    I think Bendy has us confused with someone who builds a damn. Hey-O!

    (Sorry, guys)

  2. Mina says:

    Because filling a race quota would be racist? Think about how it would be 50 years from now if they nominated people just to be diverse. We may have a social imbalance, but that only means we need social change. Nominating people based on the color of their skin is not going to create social change.

    • QQ says:

      Who said Is about Filling a Quota?? If Oscars are about the Best most Touching movies of the year In a Year of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Gardner How Can a Movie about Civil Rights Greatly acted Be so Overlooked??

      At This Point in time I halfway feel Oscar Board Is Pissed they can’t Nominate white Dudes To Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress

      • To be devil’s advocate…can it also not be about the people behind Selma running a bad campaign as well? Timing is everything. I think saying things would have been very different if it opened wider a month earlier and sent screeners out in a more timely way is very right…there’s a lot of old academy folks who don’t go to the theatre to watch things. The only way they’ll be seeing the films up for things is if a screener falls in their lap. These are the people who nominate and vote. Sadly. If they don’t *see* the movie they can’t know how amazing the performances were. Not saying it’s right but that is how it is. I’m more interested in why Plan B which is no stranger to running a solid Oscar campaign dropped the ball.

      • jinni says:

        @Tentacle Kitten: A lot of Academy members never see one movie being considered and still vote. They simply vote on the actor or director they like most, who they are friends with, or any of the other reasons that have nothing to do with the movie or actors performances that are contending. Some actors and directors (ex. Streep, Day-Lewis, Dench, Clint Eastwood, etc) get in the running simply because they did a movie that year and academy members automatically just give them a spot. The Oscars nominations have very little to do with the actual content of the movies that are in the running each year.

        Plan B is run by Brad Pitt. He may have not gone so hard for a nomination for Selma in order to make room for his wife’s movie (Unbroken) to have a better chance at getting a nomination. He was probably doing more campaigning for her movie than his own. That’s my guess anyway.

      • Sammy says:

        Didn’t get nominated for any BAFTA’s either , and yes they did get screeners on time , both the BAFTA’s and the production team dispelled the rumour that screeners weren’t sent on time and that’s why it didn’t get any nominations , surprising especially because both the leads are British.. The movie nor the actors haven’t won any major critic awards either.

        Maybe the movie isn’t that great and if it wasn’t about Martin Luther King and women black director it wouldn’t even have been in contention .. It also disappointed at the box office , they expected high teens and it only earned 11.6 million opening weekend… And will be lucky if it grosses 50 million.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        True, the Selma producers may have bungled the campaign but the people in that film were not the only people of color appearing on movie screens in 2014. Gugu’s performance in Belle stayed with me much longer than Reese’s performance in Wild. That’s just one example.

      • Brandii says:

        Sammy, I have watched Selma. If Immitation Game and Theory of Anything got nominations then I can only conclude that Selma was snubbed because it was a “black film”. The Academy pretty much patted themselves on the back for 12 Years a slave and thought to themselves “right, that should buy us a couple of years of goodwill”.

        These awards ceremonies are a little like managerial job interviews. The candidates are usually pretty evenly matched, they wouldnt be applying otherwise. Who gets picked depends heavily on the recruiters personal biases. And those biases tend to skew white male. Thats whats happened here, the biases skewed the nominations to films about white males made by white males. The black female director didnt stand a chance …..

        Also I’m pissed at Brad Pitt. No, super pi**ed. I said this for over a month that he wasnt fighting hard enough for this film. Brad can sell a film, look how he salvaged the World War Z wreck but he couldnt be bothered to do more than the occasional unenthusiastic appearance for Selma. Most of us know Angelina didnt stand a chance so why sacrifice Ava at Angies alter? Booo Brad Pitt. Boo.

      • Evyn says:

        What does Brad have to do with this? Plan B was one of 3 production companies on this film. He doesn’t even qualify to be nominated if it had been up for Best Picture. Ask Oprah, Ava, and the other producers why they didn’t campaign harder.

      • Bookish says:

        Eric GARNER

      • @jinni
        Except if you go see exactly WHO the producers are, you will see that it is Dede Gardner and Jeremy Klein (from Plan B, whose names are on the Best Picture nomination for the Oscars), so from that you see that Brad’s personal involvement was minimal, it was his two other producers that he works with that produced the film. I’m assuming he doesn’t have to hold their hands, and that they are (most likely) a lot more experienced at producing than he is, being that he is, first and foremost, an actor. I think they (or SOMEONE) dropped the ball with promoting Selma because I only heard about it about two months ago–late November/early December.

        And maybe I’m misremembering, but how was Angelina even promoting her film as an Oscar contender? Did she have multiple screenings for critics, that she (and the rest of the cast) attended? She had a premiere in Sydney; a premiere in London; there was a premiere in LA that she didn’t go to because of chickenpox. She screened the film at the Vatican. And beyond that, had the normal magazine covers/interviews, tv appearances along with the premieres, and there was especially heavy promo from The Today Show with a few documentaries about Louis going.

        My understanding is that a lot of the Oscar shilling is behind the scenes–with special screenings for critics. Unbroken sent out a screening dvd to Oscar voters. I’m guessing Selma did as well.

      • Esmerelda says:

        @QQ “At This Point in time I halfway feel Oscar Board Is Pissed they can’t Nominate white Dudes To Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress”

        To be honest, sometimes they nominate Harvey(‘s avatars)

    • Blythe says:

      You mean to tell me that in the past 24 hours, you could not help yourself to the staggering statistics about the racial makeup of the Academy voters, the number of women nominated for directing, the reviews of Selma from film critics, and the kinds of roles Blacks have played to be nominated for Academy Awards?

      It’s too early for this bullsh-t. You don’t see the the truth because you don’t want to see it. I’m fed up and tired.

      • Julie says:

        I agree. I haven’t seen Selma and I don’t care if it’s a quality film or not. Ava and David should have been nominated simply to represent diversity and this political moment. Also, Denzel Washington should have won an Oscar for Malcolm X. His win for ‘Training Day’ was in a negative role, as was Halle Berry’s for ‘Monster’s Ball.’ And did you know that Spike Lee has never been nominated?

      • Bucky says:

        +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

      • Bookish says:

        I love the hand wringing and the agonizing. Julie’s comment is the BEST. Thank you, Julie, for saying what everyone is thinking! “I don’t care if the movie is any good! It’s a black movie so it should win every award!”

      • Kimmy says:

        I’ve seen Selma and it was very good…the scenes involving the march had me on the edge of my seat… I have only seen previews of The Theory of Everything and Eddie Redmayne gives me f*cking chills he’s so good as Stephen Hawking. Just like Chiewetel and Lupita gave me f*cking chills last year.

        The Oscars are usually pretty white, but there are only 5 spots for actors/directors/scripts. It is very possible for there to be 5 better performances/etc than David Oyelowo or Ava’s direction. I don’t know how Bcoop snuck in there, but I thought the Jakey’s snub was worse than David’s. He was insane in Nightcrawler.

        So excited for Julianne and Emma. #gingersrule!

      • melodycalder says:

        Google academy voters who watched 12 years a slave and article after article comes up about how the voters didn’t even watch it but voted for it because they felt obligated to.

        I prefer merit of a film over obligation any day.

    • LadyMTL says:

      It’s not at all about “filling a quota”, it’s about how flat-out ridiculous these nominations are.

      For one thing, how can a movie like Selma be a best picture but not get any recognition for acting, directing, screenplay, and so on? Like…the movie didn’t just spring out of the earth, people acted in it, directed it, etc. It’s a bunch of old white men voting for these things, and they’ve generally always marginalized films by and about P.O.C.

      • mom2two says:

        Whiplash was also nominated for best picture and had no best director nomination either. Rosamund Pike was nominated for best actress but Gone Girl was not nominated for best picture, director, or screenplay.

      • LadyMTL says:

        I understand what you’re saying but there’s a big difference between an actor getting a nom (eg Rosamund Pike) and not the film…you can have great performances in mediocre movies. But to say that the ONLY thing Selma deserved was a Best Picture nomination is just strange to me.

      • Brandii says:

        mom2two. Your comment made me laugh. You clearly dont know what you are talking about. Regarding Gone Girl, do you really not know that an actress can deliver an award worthy performance in an unworthy movie? By the way Whiplash has FIVE nominations including best actor for the lead. The message being that these other factors elevate it to Best Picture status. The director snub makes sense in that context.

        Selma on the other hand is the only Best Picture nominee not to have a Best Script nomination. It has one other nomination for a single song that plays briefly in the movie. In other words, the Academy thinks the Performances were unworthy, the production work was unworthy, the scripting was unworthy, the direction was unworthy, even the constumes apparently were unworthy oh but heres a Best Picture nomination anyway? We already know that its a great film, it has a 99% Rotten Tomatoes score for goodness sake! So there must be another reason it was snubbed…….hmmmm, Let. Me. Think.

      • Dutch says:

        If the awards went back to its traditional five nominees only, Selma probably wouldn’t have made the cut. Since there can be a possible 10 Best Picture nominees voters are more likely to throw it in based on hearsay. They aren’t going to be likely to add specific votes (acting, directing, script, etc.) which is where the movie’s failure to participate in the various guild awards, send timely screeners and show at the major fall/winter film festivals killed its chances of getting more nominations.

      • Patty says:

        Selma is a wonderful film. It’s not about filling a quota. The movie has been better received by critics than just about every other movie this year. People are pointing it out because quality films that happen to have people of color or that are made by people of color are frequently overlooked in favor of less received films by, about, and for white guys.

        Nobody is advocating that mediocre films be nominated; although mediocre films are constantly nominating, the white ones. We are not talking about nominating a Tyler Perry film. Selma was an excellent movie that was wonderfully directed and had some great performances; it’s a pity it was overlooked.

      • mom2two says:

        @Brandii, I came back on here to clear up a misconception, I am VERY WELL AWARE of what I am talking about. I am also well aware that, yes, there can be stellar, award worthy performances in so-so movies. Gone Girl was not a so-so movie, going by reviews. And neither was Selma. And both of those films scored only one major nomination (Selma for best picture and Gone Girl best actress). I don’t disagree with you on the fact that a film that gets a best picture nomination but manages not to score any other major nominations is a head scratcher and makes no sense.
        Rosamund Pike would not have had a good performance without Fincher’s direction or Flynn’s screenplay, both of whom are considered Oscar snubs along with David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay. Obviously, Selma wouldn’t be in best picture consideration without good work from the director, actors, script writer, etc…so why it didn’t score nominations in those areas is only left for us to speculate.
        Ava DuVernay will be a director to watch.
        PS: JK Simmons was nominated for supporting actor, not actor.

      • Brandii says:

        mom2mom Lol. Gone Girl was a mildly entertaining film, nowhere near capturing the magnetism of the book and definitely at the bottom of Finchers otherwise great catalogue. I dont know what makes you think he should have had an award for a performance delivered by an actress but even going by your logic, if his direction were so phenomenal we wouldnt just be talking about Rosamunds performance, we would be raving about Ben and others too.

        You wrote…… “Obviously, Selma wouldn’t be in best picture consideration without good work from the director, actors, script writer, etc…so why it didn’t score nominations in those areas is only left for us to speculate.” If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, acts like a duck then IT IS A DUCK. Fortunately, looking at todays headlines, not everybody in Hollywood is like you pretending this isnt deeply connected to race.

        And then you wrote……”Ava DuVernay will be a director to watch.” then I knew you were being facetious. It is hard enough for a black director to get a film greenlit, dont you realise how much harder it is for a black female director. Or do you think the reason we have no major black female directors is because black women cant direct? An award would have gone some ways to changing that for Ava. Now, short of a powerful Hollywood insider taking her into his patronage, Ava is most likely going to spend the rest of her career working on low budget tv movies for BET productions. She didnt just deserve a nomination, she needed it.

      • mom2two says:

        @Brandii, you and I will have to agree to disagree about Gone Girl. I thought it deserved to be included in the Best Picture and Director nominations. I thought Gone Girl was the best acting Ben Affleck has done in a long time. Carrie Coon was very good and so was Tyler Perry.
        I’m not pretending Selma’s exclusion has nothing to do with race, but I don’t know anyone who votes on the Oscars. I don’t have their reasons for why they did not select Selma. I suspect race, like you do, but I cannot declare that as a fact without having facts which is why I said it is left for us to speculate, which is all we are doing here, since we do not have facts.
        I was not being facetious as you seem to be determined to twist my meaning around. Ava made a big splash with Selma. She should be a director to watch, she should be someone whose future work we should look forward to seeing. Yes, an Oscar nomination would have been good for her. Yes, it is harder for female directors, especially for a black one but you’d have to come back to me in a couple of years because I really hope that is not all her career turns out to be. She is a talent and deserves to have her shot at big projects.
        I’m done with my two cents here, if I offended you, I do apologize. That is not my intent and you and I agree more than you think (other than about Gone Girl).

      • broadley says:

        These arguments are silly!

        Scorcese made great films for many, many years before he got nominated for Best Director. Hitchcock NEVER won for Best Director. Paul Mazursky, Blake Edwards, Jean-Luc Goddard, Fritz Lang, and Chris Nolan were never even nominated!

        This is Ava DuVernay’s first really major film. Making out like she was robbed, or some terrible injustice was done can only be viewed as one of 2 things; you’re demanding a quota that should be met for people of color, a demand which is just full of crap, and/or your significantly more racist than the very people you’re pointing a finger at. Should we accord DuVernay greater honors than Hitchcock simply because she has 1 major feature and black skin? That’s just plain nuts!

        I also want to say that in my opinion DuVernay’s (mis)treatment of LBJ is far more significant than her fans wish to acknowledge. LBJ was probably one of the greatest political friends African-Americans have ever had. Obama hasn’t accomplished 10% of what LBJ did for people of color. If LBJ hadn’t made such a mess with Viet Nam, the only thing people would ever refer to with him would be his towering contributions to the civil rights movement. To offensively re-write history and make LBJ the bad guy didn’t reflect the sort of judgment and skill one expects from great talent. When you slap your friends in the face, its hard to turn around and expect those friends to be your supporters. Worst of all, there will now be a generation of young people who, based on this film, will wrongly think LBJ was a nemesis of the civil rights movement. Just sayin’.

        One last thing — there is ZERO relationship between Eric Garner and the movie Selma. ZERO!

    • Wilma says:

      I just can’t believe someone would bring up the word ‘quota’ when you look at the list of nominees and see how justified it would be to nominate people who worked on Selma. It really is a very well directed and acted film. DuVernay had a clear and distinct hand of direction and steered a complicated project to a great film. There’s two directors on the list of nominees who could have been replaced by every other director and their films would not have been worse for it.
      Also on Selma being out too late: if it did get nominated for Best picture, it was on time to be nominated in every other category.

    • Greata says:

      @Mina…I agree. As a black woman, I am a bit disturbed by the idea that Duvernay must be nominated because she would have been the first African American director to benominated and so would have made history.The argument should be that it was a great movie and so should be nominated. I saw Selma, and I liked it, but can we not consider for a moment that perhaps the competing movies were better? I think this prevailing attitude is insulting to the other directors. I agree with the fact that the Oscars are too white, but merit must rise above skin colour. I hope I explained this well.

      • Katey says:

        Yes. I couldn’t have said it better. How embarrassing would it be to feel you were only nominated to make a point to the public? Geez.

      • Kasia says:

        Thank you, Greata! A voice of reason.

      • Blythe says:

        We said nominate Ava because Selma was a GOOD film that was critically acclaimed by critics and viewers – not because she is Black woman. If the Academy was interested in filling in quotas, Tyler Perry would have an Honorary Award by now.

      • Diana says:

        T.I….is that you?

      • leidub311 says:

        Agreed! Thank you for stating it so eloquently. What a novel idea, earning something based on merit.

      • Veronica says:

        I agree with the underlying sentiment that her accomplishments shouldn’t be undermined to fill a quota, but some of the films that knocked out her out of positioning were either on par or less impressive than “Selma.” It doesn’t make sense for a film to score a Best Picture nom and absolutely nothing else. If we’re going to critique putting a black woman on the list to make history, then we have to question why Streep and Eastwood continually make the lists on a regular basis even if it’s not their best work.

    • Nikki says:

      No one is saying to give nominations to people soley because of their race…if that was so you would see Kevin Hart being nominated. What people are mad about was that in the decades long year the Academy has been going on, actors having been overwhelming white, the directors have usually been white men and the pictures typically about white men too. Here was a year where a black women was deserving and instead another (white) guy was chosen.

      If Ava would have gotten nominated, it would’ve raised her profile where she could make more films about PoC with actors of color…a small step in making the industry more diverse.

      Also the writer of Gone Girl was viewed as a front runner to win Best Adapted Screenplay (she won last night at the CC awards). Yet she didn’t get an Oscar nod too. More female writers mean more stories about women that would be more well written so actress can showcase their talent more…another step in making the industry better for women.

      All this might seem unfair to white men but they have the most chances and best roles about them as it is. So making it about how unfair this is for white people or just white men is ignoring the privileges they have.

    • Lu says:

      Oh, good, the good old “color-blind” argument that the best people must have won, and to recognize embedded racism is racist, rears its head. Gosh, all those black actors and directors really just didn’t make the grade somehow, not even to get a nomination. Too bad, so sad. Just a coincidence in a meritocracy, though.

      Did you see the Hollywood Reporter’s opinion that the victory of “12 Years a Slave” last year hurt “Selma’s” chances? Obviously, last year was the year of the “black” movie. Too soon to award another one!

      • Amy says:

        Truth. It’ll be about 2019 or 20 before another big blacK film is nominated. Maybe sometime before then they’ll throw a woman a bone.

    • Katey says:

      I agree. It would be in poor taste to nominate people just because they’re black or brown or whatever, just to fend off bad press. “Oh you got nominate this year because you’re Japanese and that makes us look good.” How insulting. If the Academy thinks this list is the best of the best (and they NEVER really get it right, diversity or no), then it is a racist act against the nominees to suggest that some of them should/could have been subbed out for someone more “racially diverse”. It says a LOT about those who look at the list and immediately complain about the skin colour and gender of the noms, because that implies that someone of colour deserves it more. No. It’s fine to say Bradley Cooper doesn’t deserve it or Meryl Streep doesn’t need another one, but saying something is “too white” has to be as offensive as “too black”, or the entire issue is lopsided and inequal and will never truly be solved.

    • Lu says:

      Obviously, the only factor in Oscar voting is quality of performance. Oscar doesn’t see color! /sarcasm

    • mazzie says:

      Where should I start with pointing you in the right direction to educate yourself. *sigh*

      • Dirty Martini says:

        There are two phrases that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

        When someone says “with all due respect” its a guarantee they don’t mean any respect.

        And when someone suggests others should “educate themselves” without providing any other contribution to make their point , its a guarantee they themselves are lacking knowledge.

    • Kiki04 says:

      I somewhat agree with everything being said, I think the argument should be “Selma was a great movie, why wasn’t Ava nominated” rather than “why don’t we have more diversity”? If the academy awards are based on merit, then it should be based on merit, and it should be accepted that if there aren’t good actors or directors that are X, Y, Z color, then that is how it is.

      • anon says:

        Exactly !

      • MtnRunner says:

        Yes to all this, kiki.

      • Layday says:

        @Kiki04 Don’t take this as a hostile response but I believe the argument should be both. I think Yes Selma is a great movie and Ava definitely does deserve to be nominated but the question should be asked why don’t we have more diversity as well. The problem is that arguing for a system of meritocracy in Hollywood is that minorities in Hollywood are rarely the same types of quality roles as their white male counterparts. This gives them fewer opportunities for recognition. Even good actors that are minorities in Hollywood are resigned to taking crappy roles. There are tons of Angela Bassett/Viola Davis level actresses that will never get the chance to be discovered/shine in challenging complex movie roles because Hollywood has seemingly put a quota on the number of roles that minorities can play as evidenced by the recent Rooney Mara and Scarlett Johannson. Clearly Hollywood doesn’t see a problem with the fact that these actresses, who already have access to tons of roles, playing minority parts (in a landscape where there are already too few). So next time you make an argument about meritocracy, please ask yourself if this is truly a fair system for minorities. Then you’ll see that the cream may not always get to rise to the top of the crop when they are saddled with a system that only gives very few an opportunity to even play Oscar worthy roles. Until that system (yes even in “liberal” Hollywood) becomes a little more fair to the opportunities it extends to minorities then we must also continue to ask why don’t we have more diversity. People see the Will Smiths and Chiwetel Ejiofor and they don’t realize that these actors are the exception not the rule . Sure things have gotten better but there was no where to go but up when you consider the early history of Hollywood. Lastly I get it. I myself hope we can get to a day where meritocracy wins out. The best person should absolutely get the role in casting considerations. The reality is that we’re not at that day yet and in my experience I’ve found the people that believe we have often have the vantage point of being on the inside looking out (in other works non-minorities or minorities that have been given those token positions so that a meritocracy doctrine can be espoused) than on the outside looking in. As a minority I don’t need Hollywood to validate me, I learned that a long time ago with the lack of representation of people that look like like me. However Hollywood’s continued relevance in an increasingly diverse world will make it increasingly more important that it asks why there isn’t more diversity.

      • wolfpup says:

        Viola Davis is so convincing in her roles, and is beautiful to top. I love the brilliant way she shows what a real woman is.. She astonishes me. I suppose that I am a huge fan of hers.

    • Ann says:

      Nonsense. Members of the academy vote for their friends, that’s how Bradley Cooper, Jonah Hill or Meryl Streep get nominations.

      Cooper had half of Hollywood campaign for him.

      • Harmony says:

        Thank you! Thats how it works.

      • marjiscott says:

        Hey , it’s Hollywood. Everybody, as well as their housekeepers, vote for their friends. Meryl Streep for one, has it in her contract to be nominated. That’s why she is ALWAYS there, for every freaking picture she is in.
        Bradley Cooper probably as well. It’s been a given for decades with most A List Actors. It’s not a new thing..

    • Tippet says:

      Brandii–JK Simmons is nominated for best supporting actor, not best lead actor

    • meegs says:

      All specifics aside…yes, I agree with this. Snubbing is one thing; being diverse just for the sake of being diverse is irritatingly contrived.

    • Sarah says:

      I don’t think it’s about a diversity quota. It’s about a bunch of old white guys in Hollywood who won’t recognise the non-white talent in their business because it doesn’t resemble what they see when they look in the mirror. Sad.

  3. Rachel says:

    Why single out Bradley Cooper? I’d venture to guess you haven’t seen American Sniper? He’s amazing in it btw.

    • susiecue says:

      I haven’t seen it yet but was really impressed by him in Silver Linings Playbook, so I’m not surprised he was nominated; he’s talented

      • Birdie says:

        @susiecue: Oh yes, he was brilliant in Silver Linings Playbook. I was so surprised. Since then I really see him as a serious actor.

    • Ann says:

      The film is panned by the critics unlike Selma and AS is full of inaccuracies but there was only a smear campaign against Selma.

    • TheOnlyDee says:

      I think Bradley is a good actor and I’m not sure why he is panned here so much, although I didn’t care for American Sniper. AS, The Imitation Game and Foxcatcher all had inaccuracies, so it does feel strange that just Selma is being singled out for that.

      • RobN says:

        The equivalent historical inaccuracy in the Imitation Game to the one in Selma would have been Churchill rooting for the Nazis. That’s the degree to which they altered history and the portrayal of LBJ. People would not have appreciated that, either, and you can bet there would have been a stink about it which would have limited its Oscar appeal.

      • Ally8 says:

        Well, Christopher Hitchens argued that Churchill’s enthusiasm for the abdicating king continued long after his Nazi sympathies has become evident, a fact which was scrubbed from The King’s Speech, which bothered no one, because it was consistent with the comfortable myth.
        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2011/01/churchill_didnt_say_that.html

        Truly, I think it’s astounding to make discussion of a movie about African-American heroism about whether it misrepresents a white dude. LBJ is a complicated figure, and this is one take on him. Focusing on that is the perfect illustration of the narcissism (looking for reflections of oneself onscreen) that underline the voting by the majority-male, average age 63 Academy.

  4. Reece says:

    Did I miss the memo on statement releases after nominations? How new is this?
    My love of everyone of them just deflated that much. STOP IT!!!

    The problem of diversity begins long before the Oscar nominations. How many POC are writers, how many work at the big studios, how many are producers?

    • The other sad side of things is how many films featuring POC and their stories were really Oscar worthy?

      Hollywood isn’t telling those stories.

      • Amy says:

        Because Hollywood doesn’t want to believe those stories are good.

        I was thinking about this whole watching ‘Empire’. I watch a lot of shows and like little things about them and give them that initial chance, but Empire blew. me. away.

        For the first time in so long I felt excited. I felt enthralled into a story I personally don’t have history with. I was in awe of characters and acting.

        Now if Empire was a movie that had to depend on a mostly white, mostly male, mostly old as dirt nomination? OF COURSE it never would be, because those old white men would bristle at the language and the rap genre and hypocrisy of their own system thrown back in their faces.

        We DO have good stories. It’s so sad others ignore them in favor of the 800th medical drama but we truly do.

      • QQ says:

        OMG Amy can we Talk about how EVERYTHING is Empire??? That show is so Delicious, Such a Dope Opportunity to showcase Timbaland’s Talent and Young less known actors! (also SO MANY GOOD High profile Tv/Movie actors!!!) ..Cookie Better be in every Nom category off the strength of these episodes!!

        (btw I was Listening To a Podcast this week and Someone made a similar point to what you made about how in this particular year, Snub Selma even in favor of something Like Boyhood a Fil about a Hetero Cis Gendered White Boy (like, Not even the sister) where Nothing really actually Happens, and that wasn’t really shading Linklater’s effort and Time Spent but Forreals!!

      • TheOnlyDee says:

        Ok, I really want to check out Empire. I never get a chance to watch much TV, but it looks pretty delicious. I mean Taraji P. Henson elevates anything she is in, so I am going to have to watch it now.

      • Amy says:

        …QQ…like there aren’t enough words. You’re asking me for words and I’m just gesturing to my mouth speechless about how damn GOOD that show is! OMG!

        You’re so right! The show makes me ache when I see such beautiful young TALENTED (because I’m side-eyeing the hell out of everyone I’m ‘supposed’ to be impressed by) actors and actresses! People bursting with talent and stories that NEED to be told!

        Empire sadly reminded me that our stories have just as much value, they are beautiful. Our music is amazing and can touch down to the bone. What some see as stereotyped and ignorant is complex and struggling. God I love that show.

    • tealily says:

      I’m with you completely. And to anyone complaining, did you see Selma? I was bawling my eyes out. David Oyelowo, and really the entire cast, was fantastic. I can’t believe there is not a single nod out of the entire bunch!

      • Zavi says:

        Confession: i didn’t even know ‘Selma’ had been released til I watched the Golden Globes. I mention this because while I live in a rural area with only one small movie theatre, I am a close follower of entertainment magazines and websites. Ergo I have no problem believing the marketing department screwed up in promoting this film to Oscar voters.

      • Danskins says:

        I rarely cry at movies but I was bawling like a baby in the theater after the Selma credits started rolling. It was just that powerful to me.

        And it’s no coincidence that Selma currently holds 99% positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes so I don’t understand how some can say it was mediocre and only nominated to fulfill some BS “diversity quota.” The actors performed well, especially David Oyelowo who was frankly robbed. Director Ava Duvernay is an excellent filmmaker whose expert direction of a fine film should’ve received greater recognition, regardless of her race and gender.

        Its a shame Oscar voters can’t seem to stop marginalizing films made by and about POC (because some might feel it leads to imaginary “quota filling”) and instead choose to continuously ignore good, diverse films staring them right in the face.

  5. Coco says:

    So over Bendy! And Jennifer Aniston… Super thrilled she wasn’t nominated. Too bad about Selma taking so long in post production as I hear it’s fantastic. As someone said yesterday on one of the sites I follow, 12 years and Lupita won last year so that’ll fill the Academy’s quota for the next five years. Ugh.

    • Kim1 says:

      Tit for tat
      This is Angie’s second film and first major film.It has made back it’s budget.She will get better .I am proud she took on the challenge.The film got 3 Oscar noms.

      • Jayna says:

        @Jessia, horrid film? We went. My sister and her family went, and they were surprised how much they liked it. It’s not a great film, but it’s a really good film. Angelina did a very good job.

      • Evyn says:

        Don’t bother, Jayna.
        Haters want to sneer at her film, b/c the reality is too hard to accept.

        The movie is a hit with filmgoers; it’s making millions; one of AFI films of the year; and it has 3 Oscar nods.
        There are a lot of film makers that would kill for 1/2 of that.

      • Andrea1 says:

        “Don’t bother, Jayna.
        Haters want to sneer at her film, b/c the reality is too
        hard to accept”.
        @evyn exactly. Critics might not have loved it but the people did.. Except for a few like Jessica and her cohorts like DJ who have gone on and on about how unbroken was a terrible movie and Jolie a horrid director.

        “The movie is a hit with filmgoers; it’s making
        millions; one of AFI films of the year; and it has 3
        Oscar nods. There are a lot of film makers that would kill for 1/2 of that”.

        Once again you nailed it! A lot of film maker would kill for this achievements.
        Its best to just ignore them, as the achievements of the movie speaks for itself.

  6. Felice says:

    I think Morten Tyldum made the cut because of Weinstein. People believed the direction was the weakest part of the film. I’m not holding out on it winning production design because Grand Budapest Hotel is a sure thing.

    • Dree says:

      I don’t think his direction is weak, he is a competent storyteller and the performances are great which is in part his job as a director ( to get the best out of his actors). However he isn’t a particularly interesting director and i do agree he probably shouldn’t have made the cut over for instance the woman who directed selma and the young guy who directed whiplash.

  7. OhDear says:

    I don’t think Cumberbatch’s statement was that bad – think he meant that his parents would know the significance of getting a nomination because they’re actors. It’s like how if you qualify for the Boston marathon other runners are more likely to understand what a big deal it is compared to non-runners.

    • anon says:

      Bendy is the people’s favorite punching bag on this blog lately. He can’t do anything right apparently.

      • insomniac says:

        And apparently it’s fine to knock him for the Oscars being #sowhite, even though he had about as much control over that as, say, Eddie Redmayne or Julianne Moore.

      • Dree says:

        @anon he gets 2-3 posts on this blogs a day obviously with that number of posts, not everyone is gonna think everything he does is amazing. Its just a numbers thing, besides there may be a bendy fatigue setting in with over exposure.

    • Felice says:

      He hasn’t mentioned his parents lately so it was nice to hear. I hope he brings his mummy. She’s so cute lol

    • Unfair says:

      This block is really nasty about certain people. Putting his image up for this topic was unfair. And the role he plays for which he was nominated was a GAY man who suffered for it.
      Does that count toward stories about diversity. Sheesh.

      • Zavi says:

        Also there are a lot of British actors and productions nominated, which is interesting since in the past the Oscars have been given a lot of stick about over representation of American actors.

  8. 'P'enny says:

    America is becoming [perceivably] more and more risk averse, the amount of money involved in their film industry is ridiculous and they are reluctant to take risks in any minority area and that includes films about homophobia, for example the recent marketing of Pride, and it will only cast ethnic minorities that have a strong following already or the film style has a successful track record. The leaked emails from Sony goes a way to prove that, it will take a risk on Idris Elba as James Bond [ only on chatter - will never be in reality] to the pathetic and racist awful comments of which they came out with.

    Plus, cinema industry is struggling and that also impacts on risk taking, white popcorn movies gets bums on seats, quality independent movies can take a share, but most wait till its on download.

    It’s all wrong. And, that is why TV Netflix/amazon and the like are doing so much better, taking risks and telling great stories.

    Plus, the judging panel of Oscars and BAFTA’s don’t help either.

    • Amy says:

      You’re 100% correct, but I also think Hollywood did this to themselves. Raising prices too much, too fast. Nearly all the movies at any given time being superhero films. Not having the variety in subject material.

      I used to be someone who saw movies regularly several times during the year and now at most I manage to go maybe 3-4x. One, it’s expensive for the ‘full’ movie experience of ticket, popcorn, drink etc. Two, so many films just haven’t seemed good enough to actually go and watch. Three, speaking only as myself but as POC I’m tired of seeing stories that don’t reflect other races and nationalities. Sometimes I’ll just see a film’s preview and internally sigh because apparently even one POC actor/actress/character was too much.

    • icerose says:

      I agree Pride posters were altered for the USA publicity to take the words lesbian and gay off the banner that the marchers were carrying in the parade. Obviously they felt they could not sell a UK film with the word lesbian in the poster and were not willing to try.
      Sadly I do feel that the OSCARS do not help if only because they are so main stream orientated and focus on actors who have a proven record of bankability and that comes back to diversity again.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      They are totally risk averse, hence the ridiculous number of sequels and remakes instead of original movies that don’t have a proven track record. And the reluctance to recognize and reward women, or other ethnicities, as writers/directors/actors/etc. And I so WISH that the Academy Awards were based solely on merit and the judges were required to actually watch all the movies in their category before voting.

  9. anon says:

    How many A-lister actors / directors in Hollywood are people of color? 0.01%? Until there is more they can’t expect have 10-20% of nominations ( that would represent 1 in 5 best actors and 1 in 10 best movies) . It is just statistics.

    • OhDear says:

      That would be part of the problem, too.

    • Amy says:

      …I think you’re able to read the numbers, but there was some comprehension glitch as to what those numbers were really showing you.

    • Bridget says:

      So I take it you’re not catching on to the fact that’s part of what’s being criticised?

    • Dree says:

      @anon why do you use the expression”they”? Diversity means women, people of colour, creed and varying sexuality. “They” are us. Unless you are a white male.
      Besides what you are talking about would be part of the problem.

      • anon says:

        > Diversity means women, people of colour, creed and varying sexuality. “They” are us. Unless you are a white male.

        I am a white female, for the record. I use the word “they” because I am not worried about this perceived lack of diversity.
        You know it is said – beauty is just skin deep? Well, skin color is also just skin deep. I don’t identify people by the color of their skin but by who they are.
        I think this superficial perception of diversity based on skin color is wrong. But if people take and issue with that then “they” need to realize that it is not Academy’s fault that there aren’t enough good contenders with a given skin color.

      • sputnik says:

        oh, anon. that’s the worst kind of argument because it completely denies the reality of the lives of PoC. if you can say you don’t see colour or it doesn’t matter to you then you’re speaking from a place of privilege. the hollywood system, like most systems, is stacked against women and PoC. you seem to think it’s a meritocracy, but you can’t have a true meritocracy in a corrupt and broken system where minorites are denied the same opportunities as white men. these oscar nominations just highlight the serious problem of a lack of diversity in hollywood.

  10. Mom2two says:

    Selma was the best chance for diverse nominations but I do agree with you that it was hampered by a long post production and not enough time to get much of a press push going. I think who was ever behind Selma’s Oscar campaign will learn how to do better next time.
    Honestly, where was the complaning when Fruitvale Station was totally ignored by the Oscars last year? That is a film that should have been strongly considered.
    After some of Miles Teller’s comments on JK Simmons, I am glad JK is leaving him out of his speeches. I am sure, though, Miles is not losing sleep over it either.

    • tifzlan says:

      I am still very upset about Fruitvale Station being completely overlooked. That was a great movie.

      • Julie says:

        Yes, Fruitvale Station was an original and thoughtful movie, and Michael B. Jordan was excellent in it. He deserved an Oscar nomination for it. But he will get one, like Ava. Many films ahead for both of them.

      • tifzlan says:

        Julie, I have been a fan of Michael B Jordan for a very long time and he has so much talent, i look forward to seeing how his career progresses, but he definitely deserved a nomination for Fruitvale. He was phenomenal. But you are right, there will be many films in the future for the two of them.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, I think a lot of people were upset and did complain that Fruitvale Station wasn’t nominated.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      There were complaints last year about Fruitvale Station’s omission; for the film, which was both simple and riveting, and the performance of Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer.

    • Jessica Fletcher says:

      This! I remember articles in late 2012 saying that it was gonna be the year of black cinema – 12 Years a Slave, Fruitvale Station, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Butler, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom…

      I was so excited to see the change actually happening, for the first time in ages I was looking forward to awards season, but what happened? 12 YAS became the front runner, and the rest vanished, and their places were taken by whiter films.

      I’ve heard some people, here and elsewhere, say that it’s not the Academy’s fault, but… It is. It clearly is. They are ignoring diverse films in favour of the same old stuff. And they do it consistently, year after year.

      The other thing I’ll say is that I’m a white, straight, cis, able bodied woman. These films are ostensibly being made for me and people like me, and even I’m sick of it. I literally cannot imagine what it’s liked to simply never, ever see yourself represented on a cinema screen, or to have the odds so set against you. It just frustrates me. 😡

  11. Dree says:

    Its not just no diversity, its totally the posh boarding school boy and white middle age mans oscars.

  12. KatyD says:

    Oscar movies and votes have been lacking in diversity, lacking in movies about people of color, and stories about women. It’s truly shocking and inexcusable. Studios always come up with the lame excuse that POC/ women’s stories don’t sell but Wild and Gone Girl were both critical and box office hits. Neither received that much recognition for the Oscars except for the actresses playing the roles. And neither film would have been made, had not Reese Witherspoon used all her money and power to produce them. It just shows that the movie industry is all about white dudes giving blow jobs to other white dudes. A narcissistic self-flattery festival. They are seriously out of touch and have lost so much credibility.

    And I do blame the actors for it, too. So many of the actors are content to ride the white-man gravy train and not say anything about it. I guess they are afraid to not get hired, but c’mon, show some guts. If a low level actor like Jessica Chastain can speak up about it, why can’t the others? Also, many of the actors have Reese’s money, clout, and their own production companies. They can make better films on their own. I think the excuses are all B.S. at this point.

    • Amy says:

      Jessica Chastain is a tough lady and agree on a lot of the actors being content to smile and pretend nothing’s wrong. I happened to look at Meryl Streep’s filmography and the sheer number of roles she’s up for. Someone said, “Well would you want her to give up her role for another woman?”

      After seeing that list I can safely say yes. She’s a millionaire, she’s adored and respected. She knows she’s getting dozens of roles in all age genres that could be offered to others and she’s content to keep scooping them up because the system is helping her.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Harvey Weinstein produced several films this year. Which one did he promote heavily? The one with the least diverse cast, consisting mainly of posh white boys and one white girl, whose real story was downplayed in the film to give more power to the white boys. Which one did he legally Ty to bury and didn’t promote at all? The one based on a French graphic novel with a Korean director and one of the most racially diverse casts assembled. And seriously, how do you bury a strong Octavia Spencer, an unrecognizable and insane Tilda Swinton and an over-the-top Allison Pill? And a lovely performance from a Korean actress, whose name escapes me, thanks to Harvey’s decision to bury the film?

      • sunnyeze says:

        Agree. Weinstein is a terrible bully, effectively shooting down any chances an excellent Snowpiercer had at the awards. Go Ah-Sung as Yona gave by far a better performance than say, overrated Meryl.

  13. Marty says:

    I don’t think the lack of diversty takes away from the actors/directors/writers, they all put in solid work. It does however takes away from minority artists fighting tooth and nail to put out interesting work and have it be regonized.

    Between this, and hearing Charlie Humman and Scarlett Johansson been cast in roles made for minority actors, I’m over Hollywood’s bullsh*t at the moment.

    • Amy says:

      Yes to this. I thought I had escaped hell with Hollywood being unable to make Akira only to hear the foolishness concerning Ghost In The Shell. I didn’t even hear about Charlie so I guess I’ve got another #rage moment coming.

      • Marty says:

        Exactly.

        Yes, Charlie has been cast in a biopic about a fair-skinned Mexican-American drug lord named Edgar Valdez Vilarreal. Proceed to rage mode.

      • Amy says:

        Thanks, looked it up. Unsurprising total nonsense. Another movie I will NEVER see.

    • sputnik says:

      i’ve been in full nerd rage for a week over the ghost in the shell. like it’s not bad enough that there are few roles for minorites in hollywood, they have to whitewash the ones there are.

  14. olly says:

    Can we just deem the Oscars irrelevant?

  15. scout says:

    Selma director Ava DuVernay should have been up there, I agree. I need to watch that movie.

    • Unfair says:

      Ha ha. You haven’t even seen the movie but think she should be nominated. Is that because she’s black? Or do you only believe what people tell you. Have an opinion once you see all the movies and then judge.

      • Ann says:

        The film is universally praised by the critics. Of course if they nominated Jolie for her bad Unbroken you wouldn’t have a problem.

      • Josefa says:

        PFFFFT. If Jonah Hill can be nominated twice then Ava sure as hell can be nominated once for a very, very acclaimed film.

        Seriously now – why is everyone forgetting that point? This was a very acclaimed film that came around oscar season. You can even say it’s oscar-baity as hell. I’d make a case for Gugu’s lack of nominations because Belle came out a long time ago and was a small film nobody watched, so her chances were minimal anyway. But this was a film that deserved recognition.

      • Kiki04 says:

        I think Jonah Hill, two time oscar nominee, sums up everything that is wrong with the Oscars…….

  16. lucy2 says:

    The lack of diversity in the nominations truly reflects the lack of diversity in the industry as a whole.

    • Amanda says:

      This. There is a great lack of diversity in Hollywood. Few black/ African American actors/actresses and directors and even fewer of other races like Asian Americans or Native Americans.

    • bns says:

      This. I didn’t expect the Oscars to be diverse because all of the acclaimed films this year, with the exception of Selma (and still that’s only ONE film), were all white.

    • TheOnlyDee says:

      This is pretty much it.

    • Anne tommy says:

      I have no idea whether Selma or its lead has been unfairly snubbed, not seen it yet. But there have been many instances over the years where deserving cases have not been nominated, and I think it’s difficult to draw the conclusion that race is the determining factor. Jake Gyllenhal and Ralph Fiennes can feel a bit pissed off this year for example. I would like to see a Hollywood that is more diverse and reflective of the general population, with less stereotyping and putting people in ” boxes” because of their gender, age, weight, beauty etc. but in the end hollywood is still largely about bums / butts on seats.

  17. Incredulous says:

    Vote for picture and performance, not colour and worthiness. Also Selma making LBJ into someone against civil rights is hilariously wrong and idiotic.

    • Bridget says:

      So does that mean that the nominated films all pass the historical accuracy test? (Hint: they didnt)

      • OhDear says:

        Yes, because among other things, Edward III really was the son of William Wallace and Isabella of France (Braveheart), lol lol lol lol lol.

        (Edward III was born 7 years after Wallace died and Isabella would have been 3 years old when the portrayed affair occurred.)

      • icerose says:

        I think they should at least try-Braveheart was considered an entertaining joke in the UK and it only won techies in the Bafta’s.
        I get tired of watching RV series where Henry vIII is played by a pretty young actor even when in life he was a fat 40 something man.
        Having said that from where I what I remember reading in my teens LBJ was not known seen as someone who whole heatedly supported civil rights. He certainly was not very popular in Canada at the the time,

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        He wasn’t popular. He screamed at and roughed up Lester Pearson when the latter didn’t want to enter Vietnam. I don’t know where this Prince of Peace narrative is coming from.

    • Ann says:

      Somehow people like you always see WHITE as the right colour and worth of awards.

    • Incredulous says:

      If you market yourself as The Incredible Shocking True Story of Historical History That Must Be Seen/Heard, it behooves you to get some basic facts right. Making LBJ the bad guy when he wasn’t – deliberately so, mind – is crass. Reducing history to beep boop black white binary is cretinous and it is moreso cretinous when the history you claim to portray is in living memory.

      I get that they (deliberately) left out MLK’s booze and hookers as it will only cludge up the story but making a bad guy of a good guy (at least in the context of the story they focus on) is reductionist and, in my opinion, the opposite of laudable. Why not just include the actual bad guys?

      • qtip says:

        I think that because the movie arrived in theaters late, a big push for it was delayed, and it has inaccurate facts played a role. While I know bio movies aren’t always correct, Selma is only 50 years old so one should not be that off about history. Hell Oprah only campaigned it on OWN to get ratings; even made massive media strategy out of it…on her network.

        I saw the movie…it was good but not fantastic. That is my opinion. We are all entitled to those. I am aware enough to know that I can read more about him and the movement and not use the movie as an all factual piece, but because of the lack of learning about the subject in schools and using King and Parks as propaganda pieces instead of the countless number of people of many races, genders, and ages who helped make things happen…people will see this movie as completely factual.

        I think because it is about MLK and racial inequality, plus MLK weekend is here…people are too much in their feelings. Take your emotion out of it and watch the movie then see how you feel.

        I know the world we live in, and I know that growing up as a Black person, I have to work harder, be smarter and be exquisite in order to get to where I am. That’s the reality but at the same time I think all people should feel this way. In my opinion…it wasn’t Oscar worthy.

        As far as using Black Brits in this movie…I don’t mind it.

        I really don’t like how the word diversity is used for race only. Diversity encompasses race, ethnicity, gender, age, etc.

        Not everything is about race or an us vs. them.

        Hell if I had to watch evey film in the free world it would be hard for me to pick nominees.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      The portrayal.of LBJ bothered me but I decided they were using him as a stand-in for Congress so they didn’t have to hire 500 white guys to show the opposition.

    • Ally8 says:

      The Imitation Game made a bunch of pointless, uninteresting changes to historical fact, but without generating much discussion in this regard (including that Turing was not as closeted, disliked or socially inept as the movie makes him out to have been; this according to the very book the film claims to be “based on” — very loosely apparently). Why make these changes to produce a mediocre movie — that nonetheless merits a nom, apparently? If we’re going to make historical accuracy the be-all-and-end-all, let’s at least do so across the board.
      http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/12/03/the_imitation_game_fact_vs_fiction_how_true_the_new_movie_is_to_alan_turing.html

      Recall also that Argo won handily while writing out the Canadians out of their true role in the saga for the benefit of a bearded American Affleck.
      “Furthermore, Jimmy Carter has even acknowledged that “90% of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian [while] the movie gives almost full credit to the American CIA…Ben Affleck’s character in the film was only in Tehran a day and a half and the real hero in my opinion was Ken Taylor, who was the Canadian ambassador who orchestrated the entire process.”"

      My takeaway is that LBJ is more of a sacred cow to political, media and Hollywood elites than MLK, and that’s a sad revelation of this whole debacle.

  18. Neelyo says:

    The Oscars are about as modern and relevant as the Miss America pageant. Anyone who is shocked by the slate of nominees is naive.

    The Oscars have NEVER been awarded solely on quality. I dare anyone to watch 1952′s THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH and tell me that’s an award worthy film. It’s horrendous but it made lots of money and the director, Cecil B. deMille, had never been honored so he was ‘due’. Sound familiar?

    • icerose says:

      So agree re The Greatest Show but I would throw Ben Hur and Sound of Music in there-entertaining yes but hardly innovative or examples of excellence but they have improved a bit over the last decade,

  19. Amy says:

    Mthe simplest and most poignent comment I’ve heard on this issue was thus, “When ONE film mostly starring, directed, and written by a black cast is eliminated everyone should be disappointed that that eliminates nearly all of the POC’s in ALL categories.”

    Seriously, and there are people too simple to understand that Hollywood has shoe-horned POC into one movie a year how easy it is to dismiss and forget. Better luck next year kids! Also funny little thing about quotas. People hate quotas but they were created because somehow, magically, there’s always excuses for how the system is failing everyone who isn’t white and sometimes male.

    The one thing I do love is that social media is calling stuff like this out now and I think younger generations are getting savvy to the hypocrisy and subtle racism of the world. Plus it’s fun to imagine how they’re all going to side step and tip toe around #OscarsSoWhite

    • Dante says:

      Let’s hope they do more than hashtag about it, buy a ticket and go out and support the film. If producers know they will get a decent return on their investment, they will continue to green light these projects.

      • Amy says:

        No, not even then.

        People have demonstrated they have the talent and skill, actors, directors, and producers have shown they can produce material that brings in money and attention and STILL they aren’t given more opportunities.

        The ‘if we just support it the money will show them’ has proven to be false time and again. The success of one female director doesn’t open the door for more female directors, the acclaim for one POC actor or actress doesn’t open the door for others. It’s the worst example of the trickle down theory.

        In the end if the people guarding the keys to the castle don’t think you deserv entry you don’t get it. Period. One Lupita or Gina to a dozen different white girls tells me everything I need to know.

  20. Ava says:

    The issue is that “the magical academy” is a very small group. About 6,000 predominantly white males over 5o. Read the statistics. The nominations are based on their individual taste in movies. If the academy was 30 year old women do you think every person on the list would be the same?

    • The issue is that they’re narrow minded. How is it not a problem thatI, as a biracial young woman can watch movies that have nothing to do with my gender or race, ALL THE TIME, and I can see past my own limited worldview and enjoy the films, yet when it comes time for a film made by or about someone like me, there’s no room for it? They’re narrow minded and don’t want to change, and just want to kiss each other’s asses.

    • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

      Median age: 63
      I think it’s over 70% male
      94% white

  21. Salsgal says:

    Hollywood mainly makes cartoon blockbuster movies now. It’s not about diversity as much as the crap that gets greenlighted. People go to the blockbuster movies and they make money. That’s it. These movies have huge budgets so fewer movies are being made period. Let alone movies representing diversity. The blockbusters have diversity but don’t get nominated. The field was slim pickins this year. The Academy also seems to put weight behind people with “bodies of work” unless the work is truly truly extraordinary. Selma had a lot of newcomers. What is the Academy supposed to start affirmative actioning? I don’t think this is racist at all. It’s just the plate of films they had to work with.

  22. bns says:

    I’m sick of the only acclaimed films about black people being about the civil rights movement, slavery, and racism. I want to see films like Wild, Boyhood, Birdman, etc. with a diverse cast and crew.

  23. misstee says:

    We have only had four Female Directors be nominated ever – with 51% of the world population being women I think that’s a much bigger and worrying disparity than- geez why no love for the black director? her production company fucked up – regardless of comments here they didn’t get the info to the right people on time, and besides a lot of feedback is pretty ‘meh’ about the quality of the film.

    I suspect it doesn’t help that funding for ‘black’ films is much more forthcoming when its a black history issue being told, why cant there be mumblecore films with black people in, action films, sci fo films – why does it have to be a ‘black’ film? its like the annoying as hell British period drama nightmare – either we are the bad person in American films or we are trotting out biopics

    • anon says:

      “geez why no love for the black director? her production company fucked up – regardless of comments here they didn’t get the info to the right people on time, and besides a lot of feedback is pretty ‘meh’ about the quality of the film.”

      Well said. It seems to be that this was an Oscar bait from the beggining – a movie about an iconic black figure at the time there are racial tensions on the rise in the US.
      How dare they overlook it ? It was made specifically for Oscars ! (sarcasm off)

    • Suze says:

      The film has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

      And all the feedback I have heard has been overwhelmingly positive.

      I saw it. It’s a very good movie. You should go see it yourself.

  24. Mata says:

    I haven’t taken the Oscars seriously since they nominated Julia Roberts for Pretty Woman. It’s nothing more than a glitzy popularity contest that has little to do with actual talent or film content. Friends vote for friends, studio politics play a part in the campaigns, PR machines grind 24/7….The whole thing has no credibility.

    • bonsai mountain says:

      For me it was when Gwyneth Paltrow the Best Actress Oscar. Over Cate Blanchett. Let that sink in.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Helen Hunt winning over: Helena Bonham Carter, Judi Dench, Julie Christie, and Kate Winslet. Julia Roberts winning over: Joan Allen, Juliette Binoche, Ellen Burstyn, and Laura Linney. In both cases, one of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong.

      • Ally8 says:

        Yeah, Helen Hunt was the year it became apparent to me that the whole thing was a joke in terms any idea that it’s based on relative merit. (It’s meaningful in terms of sending messages to the wider culture and determining future greenlighting.) As Good As It Gets was a ludicrous movie and her performance was as two-note as anything she had ever done on TV.

  25. Mia4S says:

    Don’t look to the Academy for reinforcement or leadership, you’ll give yourself an aneurysm.

    Let’s be honest, while Ava DuVernay’s nomination would have been deserved and a strong statement; it would not have changed a damn thing. Remember Jane Campion’s nomination? Katherine Bigalow’s win? Remember how the doors were thrown open for women filmmakers? No? Exactly. Aneurysm.

    Money talks and boxoffice gives opportunity. Get out and see Selma, buy the Bluray. Sure Ava didn’t get the Oscar nod and the film did. Make the film a massive hit so she can go stand in the corner with Christopher Nolan under the pictures of Stanley Kubrick and Hitchcock. With opportunity, her day will come.

  26. Christo says:

    Not every year will be one of diversity because that assumes that EVERY SINGLE YEAR there will be noteworthy diverse films worthy of nomination. Since most of the films in major release are not diverse, the proportion of those that are out there for consideration will be reduced by that same proportion.

    The larger issue here is why there aren’t more noteworthy roles being offered to non-white actors and actresses so that they actually will be in the prime spots to be recognized for their performance when it comes awards season time. The only movie that most people are referencing is Selma. Sadly, had that one movie…SELMA….been nominated, then we likely wouldn’t be hearing a peep from anyone. To expect a 12 years a Slave-type movie acclaim every year with a black director and a black supporting actress and to win in those categories is unrealistic.

    One of the most over-hyped movies from last year was The Butler, which did tell a compelling story, but the directing and pacing of the movie was unsteady and worthy of a Lifetime movie by way of Tyler Perry. It IS NOT ENOUGH to be diverse for diversity sake. The quality of the acting and the directing has to also be there…and the material has to be original or, at least, tell a familiar story in an original way. The same is true for any genre of movie. There are tons of LBGT movies out there that are CRAP….absolute garbage; they are in abundance at all the many LBGT film festival. In most of them, there will be a plethora of model-types with poor acting abilities that “attempt” to tackle issues of HIV, etc, but the acting and production is so cliche and tired….essentially being reduced to eye candy with the gloss of drama.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      The entire time I was watching The Butler, I kept trying to imagine what Viola Davis or Octavia Spencer or Taraji Henson or Regina King would have done with that part.

  27. Cindy says:

    Thanks to the hacked Sony e-mails, don’t we kinda know the answer to that question?

  28. Jayna says:

    It’s a shame there wasn’t a nom for Best Director or Best Actor for Selma.

    But go to the movies and support good or great movies with diverse casts in them. The box office at the theatres is the only thing that ultimately will make a difference of more movies with POC being cast in roles being made, putting good actors and directors to work, but a side benefit is thus more chances for nominations at the Oscars. Don’t talk the talk (just complaining about it online), walk the walk by going and spending your dollars at the box office in support. And do the same on TV, support the shows that are good and deserve it that have diverse casts.

  29. Felice says:

    Honey, you got a big storm coming…..

  30. Ann says:

    As a white person I’m telling you, you are not aware of your privilege.
    Imagine how exhausted POC and women are who have to actually deal with discrimination.
    You think because they aren’t called the N-word in public or aren’t forbidden from attending these awards shows that they are treated equally?
    The Sony emails revealed that the higher ups in Hollywood are racist even towards president Obama.

  31. mazzie says:

    Oh, thank you for this. I’m just going to sit back and watch as you get buried in your own created shitstorm.

    Also, you are deeply something I probably can’t say here.

  32. Ann says:

    I suggest you move over to Fox news.

  33. redrick says:

    Sorry to be a contrarian, but suppose its not about race? Maybe its just about which films and talent Academy members thought did the best job.

    I was really fortunate this year to see just about all the movies being nominated. I thought Selma was good, but I can’t honestly say I thought it was the best of the crop. Should I like it more than I did purely because of the subject matter, or the color of many of those that were involved in the making of the film? That doesn’t seem fair. Sometimes people make it sound as if you should have voted for certain entries based on a quota of color, rather than what you might have thought was the best. Weighing votes based on color would seem to be more racist than just having voted for what you thought was the most exceptional.

    I don’t hear anyone saying Jolie wasn’t nominated because she’s white. Did they pass over Aniston due to her skin tone? I think Oyelowo is a terrific actor, but its not uncommon for the Academy to want to see more of a history of great work than he’s had the opportunity to do thus far; if we’re to be fair, he really hasn’t done much ‘leading role’ work yet outside of Selma. I can’t even begin to put the work done by DuVernay in the same class as that done by Iñárritu in Birdman. I just can’t.

    Things just work out different ways in different years. Maybe its just that simple.

    • Jayna says:

      Then why is this there all this campaigning if it’s just about picking who they like best? There is a lot of things about the Oscar selection process not to like.

      Selma was nominated for Best Movie. It’s always a disappointment when that movie’s director isn’t nominated, and really a headscratcher when that movie wins, yet the director wasn’t nominated or was nominated and didn’t win for it.

      • redrick says:

        The campaigning is just a sales pitch, that’s all. It really has very little to do with what we’re talking about. People are susceptible to these “campaigns” in the same way that you or I might buy into advertisements we see on TV. They work with some people, not with others. It’s the studio’s right to promote these works to see if they can sway the Academy voters into thinking what was or wasn’t the best.

        As to your point about Ava DuVernay, it does frequently happen with the Oscars that someone gets the nod for best director without their film being nominated for best picture, and vice versa. It’s far more likely that DuVernay didn’t get the nod due to her lack of a body of directing work, than due to her color. Most of her work is as a film publicist, and more often than not the Academy is voting not only for a current film but for one’s history of good film work.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Amy particular reason why you’re comparing the women directors to the only non-white person nominated in any category?

      • redrick says:

        If your question is directed at me (or was it Jayna?) I’m not really aware that I was. No particular reason for it. I mentioned Jolie because their was a lot of writing about people being surprised her film didn’t register much with the Academy. No one suggests that was due to her color, it just worked out that way — it wasn’t her year, It happens. If your reference to a “non-white person nominated” was about my mention of Iñárritu, (is he considered non-white?, I’m not even aware of that, which makes me wonder if you were even replying to me in the first place….) the only reason I mentioned him was because I just saw Birdman 2 nights ago and had it on my mind. Remarkable film! Everything about it blew me away. So, no ulterior motive, if that’s what you were concerned about.

        I see you’ve made many comments on this thread. I just want to say this; I understand its been an enormously frustrating and disturbing year FOR EVERYONE, watching people of color get murdered by those that were supposed to be there to protect us. However, the Academy Awards isn’t going to do anything that will change that. Its easy to see racism everywhere, because it is such a profound part of the USA’s culture. BUT the fact is, I just don’t have any solid reason to be accusing members of the Academy of being racist here. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, and conclude that they simply were making choices they believed were merited. Until I see real evidence to the contrary, that’s where my opinion will remain.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Redrick, Inarritu is the only person of color nominated in any of the major categories this year.

    • Danskins says:

      “I can’t even begin to put the work done by DuVernay in the same class as that done by Iñárritu in Birdman…”

      @Redrick, have you seen DuVernay’s other major critically acclaimed films (e.g., I Will Follow, Middle of Nowhere?)

      It’s probably a good idea to check out the full scope of someone’s work first before making comparisons.

      • redrick says:

        First, I think you’re taking what I was attempting to say out of context. I was comparing DuVernay’s work with Selma to Iñárritu’s with Birdman. For me personally Selma was a good film, Birdman is a work of art. Just my opinion. Feel free to think differently.

        Second, GET REAL! When you say: “other major critically acclaimed films ” I have to take a deep breath. Those films were hardly what one would call major, at least in the general usage of that word. Those films were seen by very few people, had tiny budgets (geez, Middle of Nowhere was on a $200,000 budget!), and were at best small indie films. Nothing wrong with that mind you, but not the usual stuff that gets much notice at the Academy Awards unless you’re talking about a category like short indie films or esoteric documentary’s.

        Finally, and again, I wasn’t originally talking about the “full scope of someone’s work”, as you say. I was offering an opinion about the skill that went into making Birdman as compared to Selma. As far as the scope of DuVernay’s career, she also has a background in directing episodes of Scandal. When your background is some small indie films, work as a publicist, and directing TV episodes, it generally takes awhile, and alot more credits, before Hollywood peers are willing to give recognition for top honors. It has nothing to do with color. It’s just how things go in that industry. A few more major big budget films, she’ll get more attention. You almost never see Academy members giving top honors for someone’s first major, big budget film.

  34. Evyn says:

    You can’t seriously believe that Meryl deserved to be nominated this year?

  35. Ann says:

    This place has been invaded by ignorant bigots.

  36. bns says:

    I’m tired of this story, too. Can’t Hollywood just stop being so racist so that we can all move on?

    • Danskins says:

      Right?! If certain persons in positions of privilege in Hollywood could just recognize their own privilege, then this narrative would’ve been buried a long time ago.

    • Amy says:

      You would think that would be the easier option but well…

  37. anon says:

    I am probably going to be killed for this, but did you notice how many good black actors came out of the UK lately?
    Not the US, which constantly beats the diversity war drums, but the UK.
    Maybe if the people in the US started following the advice of MLK about judging people by their character, not their skin color we’d more successful?
    All this diversity and race talk just divides people into us vs. them. I don’t see any real benefits to it.

    • Amy says:

      …do you even know WHY there are so many black actors and actresses coming from the UK?

      Because they can’t find roles! Because they say the system is so racist over there that even with their training and expertise they can’t find parts that aren’t drug dealers or ‘thugs’! That against their white co-workers they don’t get the roles at all.

      You are using an example of racism as an excuse for why we should ignore racism?!

      Wow…there have been articles written about this very topic but of course…I’m sure if those black actors just tried 100% harder than their white co-stars then the UK would suddenly respect them and give them the credit they’d deserve. Its so easy to excuse the system when you’re not being hurt by it.

    • msd says:

      That’s a really, really bad example. David Oyelowo and David Harewood are both on public record saying they went to the US because there were so few roles for black men in Britain ie. the US was better. I wouldn’t say it’s worse for them in the UK only because of racism – that’s a part of it but it’s compounded by the fact that there are less opportunities overall because the industry is smaller, and the industry that is there is more skewed towards classical theatre and period film & TV ie. lots of white people in tights and top hats and corsets doing Shakespeare and Austen and Dickens. Overall both countries and industries have problems reflecting the diversity of their respective societies. As do most other countries, frankly.

  38. Julie says:

    Why doesn’t one of the more enlightened White actors or directors withdraw his or her candidacy for an Oscar so the Selma actor and director can get a chance? There will still be 4 slots left over for White people!

    I would really like to see Benedict Cumberbach do this. And Clint Eastwood could certainly withdraw his candidacy for Best Director. He’s an old man and already has all the honors he needs, particularly because American Sniper is nominated for Best Picture. He should just be happy with that nomination. It’s enough.

    • msd says:

      I’m not sure if you’re being serious but Eastwood wasn’t nominated for Best Director.

    • leah says:

      Because you can’t withdraw your nomination. Google is your friend.
      Why do you single out Cumberbatch? Why not Keaton, Redmayne, Carrell or Cooper?

      While I do think there is a strong component of racism, let’s be objective here: Paramount botched the campaign for Selma. It was a disaster from the get go, one wrong choice after another.

      *zero attention from critics awards
      *no screeners sent to the guilds
      *the screenplay controversy
      *the historical accuracy controversy (which is bull, but unfortunately it got traction)
      *unknown leads
      *underwhelming box office

      Academy members get hundreds of screeners, marketing is pivotal; a movie, regardless of its quality, needs to be high priority, it needs to gather momentum, Selma just didn’t have it. As far as Oscar are concerned, having a good story is not enough, you need people to see it. Say what you will about the other nominees, but they all have buzz, they were all high priority for the Academy, some of the movies have been around for a year, slowly building huge buzz.

      The token Best Picture + best song nomination is frankly insulting toward a movie which deserved so much more; but if you have followed the race (and considering you put Eastwood among the nominated directors, my guess is that you didn’t) the lack of nominations is not a surprise. I blame Paramount and the producers of the movie.

  39. Carrie says:

    Between Twelve Years a Slave winning Best Picture and Best Actress going to Lupita Nyong’o they figure thats good enough for one decade and they can go back to ignoring minorities.

    • Adrien says:

      They don’t want to see a Black Messiah. They want to see slaves, thugs, maids, uneducated, stereotypically funny black people (Cuba and Whoopi). Also, they hate Oprah. The Color Purple, 11 noms, 0 win. The Butler. Now Selma.

      • Danskins says:

        Amen to that!

        I don’t understand how some can ignore that certain black films with “white saviors” (The Help, Blind Side, 12 Years, Django, Mississippi Burning, the list goes on) tend to get more industry hype and awards recognition than those without that stereotypical archetype, such as Selma.

      • lisa2 says:

        You do realize that 12 Years was an actual account. they didn’t put in the “white savior” to appease the white audience. That person existed. His role in Samual’s life was real’ not invented.

      • Ally8 says:

        Also hookers, girlfriends and female victims. Perhaps the occasional tolerant martyr wife.

      • Danskins says:

        @Lisa2 you do realize that many film directors take creative liberties in their films so that we can’t fully know the true extent of the contributions of other players onscreen?

        My point was that typical popular Hollywood black films tend to feature white characters as “saviors” of the “poor, defenseless POC” onscreen. Other films come to mind such as The Help (which was complete fiction), Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino (another work of fiction) or any film with a white teacher coming to an inner city school to “save” the poor students who are assumed to be too inept to save themselves (e.g, Dangerous Minds).

        It’s such a tiresome and played out narrative.

  40. Adrien says:

    Eh, During the GG, Hollywood was very passionate about Charlie Hebdo attack than Mike Brown/Ferguson. Nothing wrong expressing solidarity but I think it’s much safer for them to touch an issue which happened overseas. Don’t wanna risk losing votes from white, old, conservative Oscar voters.

    • **sighs** says:

      Charlie Hebdo was fresh in everyone’s mind and it was an attack on artists specifically for their content. It was very relevant for that crowd.

  41. starrywonder says:

    ? Are you for real. Have you seen what LBJ called the protestors in Selma. Have you heard and read what Lincoln really thought about freeing slaves. I think Selma actually showed a nuanced peformance of LBJ and didnt portray him as “evil” people are angry he didn’t get more credit for what he did. I would be happier if they showed him warts and all the same with Lincoln.

    • H says:

      Speaking as a history teacher, I don’t agree with this statement at all. One of the reasons the Voting Rights Act passed was LBJ. He begged, bribed and blackmailed Congress into it. He knew it would be his legacy as president and pushed hard for it, even knowing the backlash he’d get from the Southern Democrats at the time. I’m not saying he wasn’t a racist, he was a product of his time and upbringing after all, but if Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated and LBJ had not been president, I doubt Kennedy would have had the clout or favors in Congress to get the VRA of 1965 passed. Not trying to make LBJ a hero, Vietnam washes that away, but voting rights would have been a much later issue if Kennedy had been in charge. Selma the movie shouldn’t have lessened LBJ’s contribution.

      Sorry, history is my passion. TL, DR. :)

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Voting rights should be a bigger issue now. There are those who are trying to erase the act and make it harder to vote.

  42. LaurieH says:

    What a quandry. On the one hand – yes, all the nominees this year are white. On the other hand, does that automatically mean there was an orchestrated effort in liberal Hollywood to deliberately exclude black actors, directors, etc…? That’s quite a leap. So now social and political pressure will come to bear – courtesy of none other than Al Sharpton – and what will the result be? Well, I suppose the desired outcome will be to have more black actors, directors, etc…nominated in future awards shows. But then people will start saying that they are being nominated for political purposes….which is fine, I suppose, unless you’re one of those black actora, directors, etc….left wondering if your nomination was truly due to talent or political pressure. Dunno.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      I always find it amazing that when people from “Liberal Hollywood” run for political office; they usually do so as members of the Republican party. And Sharpton does not seem to have much clout; he wouldn’t have been the first person to spring to my mind in this area.

  43. bonsai mountain says:

    All white actors have an edge in a racist entertainment industry! The Academy has always nominated and awarded people based on the color of their skin – excluding other races means you ARE sub/consciously rewarding white actors for being the right colour! If Gwyneth Paltrow wins a best actress Oscar in a year when Viola Davis gives the highly acclaimed performance of the year but Viola’s overlooked because the role doesn’t fit a racial stereotype, how can we say the best actress really won?

    Diversity IS quality, you need the widest pool of candidates to find the best performance, you need to step outside of your comfort zone and take the risk of recognizing excellence in all its different manifestations. Otherwise the competition lacks rigor and credibility. Are these really the best actor nominees, when David Oyelowo and Chadwick Boseman are excluded? Are these really the best actress performances, I mean, couldn’t you switch out Meryl this one time for Gugu Mbatha-Raw? Bah.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Well, Gugu belongs in the Best Actress category this year. Meryl landed in supporting, but your point is valid. Gugu should be there instead of Reese.

  44. Dana says:

    Diversity in Hollywood? Are you fu%$ing kidding me?

    Look, studio execs, directors, writers, voting members of AMPAS are predominantly white, male, heterosexual, Jewish or WASP-y, over 50, make over $450 000/year and college educated. They don’t have a clue about what women, people of other sexual orientations, and people of color want to see and quite frankly, I don’t think they really care unless there’s a “niche market” say like Tyler Perry movies for African-Americans which can prove to be profitable. Most execs look at minority groups as “not profitable” and so cater films to a financial base which they can make money off of.

    When was the last time a Muslim won or was nominated? Maybe Omar Sharif for “Dr. Zhivago”? Or was it AK Rahman for “Slumdog Millionaire”s soundtrack? Any other Muslims in Hollywood these days besides Aziz Ansari? Why did Oscar Isaac not get nominated for “Inside Llewyn Davis” or “A Most Violent Year”? Since “12 YAS” won last year, any film related to African-American issues will probably be ignored for another 10 years, unfortunately.

    These guys are so out of touch with what’s going on in the real world, that America’s population is becoming more diverse and ethnic, real stories are happening all over the world and yet the Hollywood machine keeps regurgitating the same story or keeps re-booting the same film franchises because they can’t come up with original ideas of their own within their own cultural bubble. Meryl Streep should NOT be nominated year after year for negligent roles, when there is a whole array of super-talented actresses who have yet to be nominated once. A soulless stick-figure like Gwyneth Paltrow should have NEVER won over an acting powerhouse like Cate Blanchett.

    This is a very similar discussion which is also happening in the yoga world, around issues of the “whitening” of yoga and cultural appropriation and one of the best articles I read about it was called ‘Why I left Yoga (and why a helluva lot of people are being duped)” and I think the same recommendations hold here as well – diversity training, inclusion of other types of people, their stories, their cultures – just get ethnic , expand some horizons, please.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      The only Asian woman to win an acting award was Miyoshi Umeki in 1957; she won best supporting actress, 57 years ago. There has only be one Asian woman NOMINATED for Best Actress and that was Merle Oberon. In 1935! 1935!!!! 80 years ago!!! And she lost. Asian men have fared better with Yul Brynner, Ben Kingsley, and Haing Ngor winning but the last of those was in 1984. There have been eight nominations in the acting categories for Asian men in the history of the Oscars and four of those were to Ben Kingsley. No Asian men have been nominated in the acting categories since 2003, 12 years ago.

      No Latino actress has won Best Actress. Rita Moreno did win Best Supporting Actress in 1961 None have been nominated for Best Actress since 2004.

      My household is the only non-Asian family on my street. (Predominantly Chinese, some Koreans, some Indians) We are the only white family on the block, with the households that are not Asian including immigrants from Haiti, the Dominican, Kenya, Morocco, and Brazil. My United States does not look like that list of Oscar nominees.

      • Dana says:

        Also another Asian who has won is Ang Lee , he was blocked out for “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture, my guess is because it was about LGBT-related issues , I think they gave it to him for “Life of Pi” to make up for it.
        Merle Oberon was never presented as an Asian to the film-going public even if she was half-Indian she was just “exotic”. Hollywood has had cases of painting up actors in “brown-face” as well, like Jean Simmons in “Black Narcissus” or Hugh Griffith in “Ben Hur”. The biggest problem with Hollywood and diversity/POC is the kind of ethnic and cultural tokenism we see consistently displayed by the Academy.
        There are acting and directing powerhouses the world over who would make the likes of Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow and Steven Spielberg look like the light-weights they really are, you have only to look at other awards and festivals (Cannes, Berlin, Venice etc.) to get a taste of the scope of quality of some of the players out there on the global stage and in other countries.
        As it is, AMPAS-members only keeps exhibiting their own parochialism and ignorance and in an increasingly hyper-connected, globally-savvy, multi-cultural world, they seriously are in danger of looking really out-dated and irrelevant, if not already.

      • Intro Outro says:

        Agreed with everything @Lilac and @Dana said. This is exactly the reason why I regard Oscars as primarily a show and not as serious film awards. When I want to track the latest film trends, fascinating directors, interesting projects etc etc, Oscars are the last thing that comes to my mind.

    • sunnyeze says:

      agree with everything. juz want to point out Aziz Ansari’s an atheist btw.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      The very powerful Harvey Weinstein chose to heavily promote the extremely white The Imitation Game while burying Snowpiercer, a film with one of the most diverse casts, which included two Oscar winning women and two men who have received multiple Oscar nominations, that has been seen in a very long time.

      • Dana says:

        AMPAS doesn’t seem to hold sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic films in high regard except for technical categories. Instead AMPAS seems to lick up a few select “genres” of film. One of them is the mostly white, idiot-savant film year after year (“Charly”, “Rain Man”, “Shine”, “A Beautiful Mind” and if the annoying pop-ups all over the internet the last few days are a metric to go by, “The Imitation Game”)

        It’s not a coincidence that attention and quality has shifted from film to television these last few years; film is now considered a form of storytelling in decline given that TV is now experiencing it’s golden age and who can blame them? I see more international cast members, great acting, fabulous writing, interesting story lines, exposure to narratives I normally would never have access to on cable, Netflix etc. than the local multiplex.

  45. Josefa says:

    What I don’t get is why Selma was nominated for Best Picture and Song, but nothing else. Logically speaking, the director wasn’t good enough, nor the actors, nor the script. It just had a really, really good song. So good, it was enough to carry it to the most important category.

    Seriously, Academy. It’s just stupid.

    • RobN says:

      You’ve got 8 best picture nominations and only 5 director, actor, actress nominations. Logically, not everybody is going to get nominated, there simply aren’t enough slots, and when you’re the movie that is most like an ensemble cast, there’s a good chance you’re the one looked over.

  46. familr says:

    Fincher, Nolan not nominated. No way Ava DuVernay was ever getting a nod.

  47. LaurieH says:

    Honestly, I don’t understand why people put so much weight on the Oscars. They, like the plethora of other awards shows, are a joke. Just because someone wins “best” whatever does not ACTUALLY mean they were the best….particularly when you consider how the results are determined, the campaigns that go on (and invariably the bribes) and the timing of film releases. Nobody from Selma being nominated is hardly the biggest snub in Oscar history. Alfred Hitchcock never won and nobody doubts he was one of the greatest of all time. Robert Redford never won and acting Oscar. Paul Newman only won one. Some of the greatest actors, greatest directors and greatest films did not win (and sometimes were not even nominated) for the most iconic and beloved roles and films in history. It means nothing.

    What matters is us – the audience. The ones who shell out money to see these films or to see these actors perform. How many times have we read raving critics reviews only to think the movie actually sucked? Or movies that critics panned that we actually found quite enjoyable? Winning the Oscar means nothing, except to the ego of the person who won it. In fact, it’s often called a curse. How many of you rushed out to the theaters to see that stupid silent movie that won Best Picture a few years back? I’m guessing not many. Gwyneth Paltrow won. Halle Berry won. How many great films have they been in since? Umm… yeah. Trying to figure out how and why certain people and films get nominated and others don’t is like trying to figure out how airlines price their seat tickets. It makes no sense.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Selma isn’t the only film at issue here. The film is nominated for best picture but none of the people who put their efforts into it were nominated. People in other films who did excellent work like Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Chadwick Boseman, both of whose performances were better, in my opinion, than some of those nominated, also were ignored.

      • LaurieH says:

        Selma is not the first or only film to be nominated for best picture without any acting nominations. It’s happened before. Most recently, Slumdog Millionaire. As to what constitutes a “better” performance – that’s subjective. Only fellow actors get to vote for best actor/actress. Who knows what motivates their opinions? Racism? Jealousy or competitiveness? Personal friendships? Look at shows like American Idol and The Voice – where people get to vote who the best is. Do you always think the person who ends up winning is actually the best? The only category in which all members get to vote is best picture – and in that category – with everyone voting, Selma got the nod.

  48. Maxine7 says:

    I think we need to all decide whether black people want to be treated “equally” or “differently.” Because in Hollywood crazyland 2015, being treated equally means you may have the BEST movie out there and still not get nominated. I saw tons of amazing movies this year that were not even on the Oscar radar. The Oscars are petty, and a popularity club and ridiculous. They may also be racist too but one thing they are NOT is fair. So using the Oscars as any sort of yardstick in terms of what should or should not be nominated or who or should not win is ridiculous at best and ill-informed at worst. If you don’t believe me, ask Amy Adams.

    Do we really want a situation where we have best actress, best actor and the best “diverse performer?” Maybe that’s the answer but i don’t think so.

    • Amy says:

      I think you need to realize that when a group of people make up a large part of a society they are going to want and demand ALL parts of the same society to treat them with consideration and respect.

      Now will they? Of course not, but that’s what the fight is about. To keep being a thorn in the side of the establishment till people change either from genuine change or embarrassment. Whatever it takes frankly. We didn’t wait for people to feel good about it to fight against slavery and human rights. We did it even if it was annoying, preferential, imbalanced or done merely to pacify us.

      • Maxine7 says:

        My response is….that has nothing to do with race that has to do with basic human dignity….for all the people saying it is racist that Selma was not nominated they should be looking at how Hollywood treats all people generally which is NOT equal. Black people don’t have the monopoly on being treat unfairly in Hollywood. The system is flawed for everyone.

      • Amy says:

        And where is the complaint only about black people? The irony is black people have more opportunities for roles and STILL don’t get respect and equal treatment. What do you think will be the reality for Asian or Hispanic actors who have even less opportunity and respect?

        One of the most prominent Asian American actors of the movie season was a gentleman who played the North Korean dictator. One of the most well known Asian comediennes had her most visual role portraying a stone faced North Korean. Now I don’t blame her for this since she has every right to mock the heartbreaking reality of her people, but again…when it came down to it if they hadn’t needed that stereotype her name would have NEVER been on anyone’s lips for an appearance.

        If it’s not a stereotype lampooning another stereotype then Asian people are even more woefully underrepresented.

  49. Ferdinand says:

    What does “Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu is mexican” mean? So you don’t consider him to be white because he’s not American? Or is it Mexican such a different color race now?

    I understand some of the points being discussed here but overall the academy is supposed to recognize the year’s film industry’s finest whether “black, white, yellow or Mexican”. I also don’t doubt there were some overlooked works but still if the academy didn’t think they were worthy then I’m fine with it and so should everyone else!

    Better luck next year. keep doing your best work and wait for real recognition. Do not expect to be nominated only because it is politically correct to nominate all “races and colors on the palette”.

    • jammypants says:

      Yea Mexican is a nationality. His race is still caucasian. Middle easterners are classified as caucasian as well. It’s kind of crazy because there are eastern asians who have naturally paler skin than both the groups above, but the former is considered “white”. Race identifies physical features of people. But it’s strange to call dark skinned people white. It gets even more confusing when you throw ethnicity into the picture.

      • LaurieH says:

        I will never live long enough to understand why people can’t just be people. Seriously. We have no control over what country we’re born in, what nationality or family we’re born into, or heritage or skin color. We just pop out and there it is. We can be proud of it, I guess (though pride is a sin) or we can not put any more credence into it than it deserves – which is precisely nothing. We are just human beings. All the same. Sure, there are different skin colors – there are many different colors in nature. Languages and customs are different, but those are man-made. And geography is just geography. I don’t think I will live to understand this. The human race is the human race. All the same and all worth the same dignity and respect.

      • **sighs** says:

        I’m confused. Where are middles easterners or Hispanics considered white? According to whom? I used to live in a predominantly Latino city, and no one I knew there would consider themselves white. Maybe I’m thinking more along culture lines?

      • anon says:

        > I’m confused. Where are middles easterners or Hispanics considered white?

        Everywhere outside of the US they are considered white. There are 3 races – Asian, White and Black. They are not Asian or Black, ergo they are White.

        “Hispanic” is designation created in the US for PC purposes.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @anon, actually, “hispanic” is a designation on the US census form.

      • Emma says:

        White is not a race, it’s called caucasian.

      • anon says:

        > White is not a race, it’s called caucasian.

        Yes, Caucasian or White (in many other languages). Word “white” is even commonly used in English as it is understood that it means Caucasian.
        Caucasian is also used to identify people from the Caucasian mountains region.

        > @anon, actually, “hispanic” is a designation on the US census form.

        Yes, this is why I said it is the US thing only. It is not a race but a group treated in the US as a race.

      • TotallyBiased says:

        Outside of the US, middle-eastern is Asian. Used to confuse the heck out of me in London.

  50. lisa2 says:

    Someone upthread noted that the Academy had 8 films nominated for BP.. thing is they could have picked 10.. or 9 as they have done since the rules changed. This year they decided to not do that and omit 2 directors that could have been included.

    @brandi.. I don’t think it is fair to accuse Brad of not supporting Selma. Jeremey and Dede are the ones from Plan B that put in the leg work for hte film. They are the ones that have been working on it for near 7 years. Brad let them drive their film. Why should he come in at this time and make it about him. Not far to them. And I will applaud Brad and his team for actually putting people of color in films.. A Mighty Heart, 12 Years and Selma.. all with diverse cast. There are so many actors and Producers I can name that have never actually acted or produced a film with any actor of color.. So for that I say good job. And he and his company have other projects in the future that are going to continue this. Saying he didn’t fight for the film is not fair. Ava put her faith and all behind Oprah. She wanted Oprah front and center in the promotion of the film and that is what happened. Don’t cry for Brad when that strategy didn’t work. Oprah is influential.. but she doesn’t have the clout to push a film to Awards glory.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      It actually isn’t a decision how many films are nominated. It is based upon a pre-determined calculation based upon ranked votes. Voters from all categories vote for best picture and they each have five votes, which they rank 1-5. There is a percentage that a film must meet in order to be nominated. If a film gets enough #1 votes to make the percentage, it gets the nomination. The lower ranks are used to break ties or get the number of films up to the minimum number of nominations but not up to the maximum. So this year, not enough films got sufficient number of #1 votes for there to be more than 8 nominated films. In the other categories, only the people in that category vote for the nominations. Everybody can vote for the final Oscar.

      To become an AMPAS member, a person has to either be nominated for an Oscar or be invited. They only invite a few people each year. I can only think of two women who have been nominated, Kathryn Bigelow and Sophia Coppola, which makes them the only two women directors who have become AMPAS voting members through the standard process. I think directors of nominated documentaries and short subjects may also be eligible voters, but I could be wrong about that. Either way, it is the ultimate boys club.

  51. lila fowler says:

    Let’s ask the president of AMPAS, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. Who, btw, is a WOC.

    • Amy says:

      Ask her what? Because she agrees there needs to be more diversity and opportunities given to reflect the diversity present in the world.

  52. word says:

    I’m just about rewarding GOOD WORK. It shouldn’t matter what ethnicity the actors or producers are. On another note, poc need more opportunities in Hollywood. There is definitely a lack of color. Anyways, let’s just reward talent. All the nominees are talented.

    • Amy says:

      “All the nominees are talented”

      And white. Talented…and white. Naturally.

      • word says:

        As a person of color myself, yes it is frustrating that the Oscars show a major lack of diversity. However, let’s not punish the actors who put in their work and did a good job. It’s not their fault. This is a much bigger problem that stems way beyond Hollywood. Will things ever change? Let’s hope.

      • Amy says:

        I agree. I don’t blame the actors for doing their job to the best of their ability, but I dislike the suggestion that clearly their job was (and always seems to be) better than POC. That clearly because the academy says so their efforts were less, that their skill is less.

        If this was not such an ongoing pattern I don’t think people would complain. But when it is a pattern or a reflection of a general state (again by one movie not being nominated all POC were eliminated) then people bristle and speak up. I’m sure it’ll change eventually but I have doubts it will be soon.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Chadwick Boseman is rather talented as well and did a great job in Get on up.

  53. Saks says:

    I wish Birdman could win every nomination and I do hope Alejandro wins but I don’t think the Academy is giving the best director award to a Mexican two years in a row.
    ¡Venga, vamos Birdman! ¡Vamos Alejandro!

    • Jayna says:

      I finally saw Boyhood and am blown away by it. By the end, you realize it is a classic and a work of art. It is based on Linklater’s boyhood as far as the choices his divorced parents made and growing up in the midst of it and the arty side of himself, not a complete depiction of who he was by the teens, but a side of him.

      It moved me on so many levels as it went along and made me so sad in places and wistful in others and just warm and fuzzy in others as you watch their lives unfold, in not a plot, per say, but just life unfolding and watching this boy grow as he’s moved around and to different schools. Not all people have happy endings in life marriagewise

      It makes you look back to when you were young and a kid and and then into your own teenage years and the innocence and angst and freedom, and for many raised in dysfunction on many levels, they will relate. It was filmed over 12 years and to really watch this boy age from first grade to twelfth grade was amazing and everyone in the movie. It’s amazing to watch the life choices of both parents, how it affects the children and how their lives turn out, and just how life flies by and one day your kids are grown and in many ways how life lived you, you didn’t live life, such as his mother’s marriages and his father’s lack of direction for years. It is a special movie and really moved me as it went along. Not everyone will love it, but I loved it and it felt so authentic. I became very emotional about it in ways I just didn’t expect, the boy as he grew into adulthood. Ethan was great, as was Patricia Arquette. And the young actor, Ellar Coltrane, was fantastic, as was his sister in the movie, who was actually Director Linklater’s own daughter.

      Birdman is really great, also and is deserving of acting awards for sure, and I loved the uniqueness of it. But Boyhood has just as much likelihood of winning the two major awards as far as Best Movie and Best Director.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Boyhood is challenging and stretches the boundaries of what filmmaking has been AND they did a great job with it. It does deserve accolades.

      • MtnRunner says:

        Hear, hear, Jayna. I expected to enjoy Boyhood, but didn’t anticipate how deeply I’d be affected by it. It thrills me to see that it getting attention from the critics and awards voters.

      • Saks says:

        Yes, Boyhood is awesome! but it is just that I’d love Alejandro and Birdman to win. If the awards goes to Boyhood or Selma I’ll be happy too. Actually the only movie I’d be really mad if it wins is TIG, which personally I founded really overrated…

  54. Alex says:

    I Just wanna say that “mexican” is not a race, you can be white, asían, african, native, and still been mexican we do not care about races here….we are all just mexicans

    • Aeltri says:

      You are right in that Mexican is a nationality not a race. That being said the largest group in Mexico are mestizos, who are people of predominantly Iberian/Amerindian extraction. Many also have some African ancestry, I know I do. I lucked out because I look ‘castiza’ and if you know anything about our culture then you know racism is alive and well. Look at how ‘criollos’ are glorified while ‘indios’ are denigrated in the media.

  55. Bamboozled says:

    “Only son”? What a weird thing to say BC. Why single yourself out based on gender??

    Would it be less of a a big deal for your or your parents if you had another sibling – male or female?

    Or wait a minute – you do.

    • Ally8 says:

      Yeah, that’s weird.

      There must be a funny dynamic in that household. His parents shipped him off to boarding school and then apparently drilled into him how hard they had to work to pay for said school. So abandonment followed by guilt. Maybe it’s a passive-agressive FU for him to now say, implicitly, look I’ve gotten further along in the same line of work that caused you to ditch and guilt me. (The doctor is in. /Lucy reference)

    • Aeltri says:

      Oh, this isn’t the first time that pernickety arsehole has snubbed Tracy Peacock. In another article he ‘accidentally’ referred to her as his STEP-sister. Tracy is his maternal half-sister, who apparently helped Wanda care for him. BC’s like ‘Highlander’ in that “There can only be one.” LOL. It’s NPD folks…I saw signs of it waaay back and few believed me. Now that he’s pulling out all the stops for HW’s pathetic Oscar campaign it’s as clear as a supermoon.

  56. Misprounced Name Dropper says:

    I’m also a bit perplexed about the lack of roles for balding women in Hollywood.

  57. TeresaMaria says:

    Can we stop pretending that Oscars have anything to to with how good a film/actor/director really is at this point? It’s all politics, connections, predictions, calculations … And above all – it’s art, so it is pretty hard to decide what is “good” anyway. Should we have a worldwide vote, maybe?

  58. Melancholia says:

    “Suck it, Miles?” Wat.meme

    Are we supposed to not like him?I thought he was excellent in Whiplash. So good.