As we discussed yesterday, Chris Rock is expected to call out the Academy for their lack of diversity this year as host of the Oscars. Chris was announced as host months ago, before the nominations even came out. Maybe the producers even thought that this year would be different, that this year would not be a repeat of #OscarsSoWhite. But it is a repeat. And now all of these expectations are coming down on Chris. And even more than that, as more minority celebrities say they’re boycotting this year’s Oscars, some believe Chris Rock should pull out of hosting:
Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee say they won’t attend or watch the Oscars this year because of the failure to nominate a single nonwhite actor — but sources say host Chris Rock will not pull out of the gig despite mounting pressure. For the second year in a row, all the acting nominees in Hollywood’s most important awards competition are white. Smith, whose husband, Will Smith, starred in “Concussion,” said to Rock in a video posted to Facebook: “Chris, I will not be at the Academy Awards, and I won’t be watching, but I can’t think of a better man to do the job at hand this year than you, my friend. Good luck.”
She’d earlier posted: “At the Oscars . . . people of color are always welcomed to give out awards . . . even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments . . . Should people of color refrain from participating all together?”
Rock posted a joke on Twitter: “The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.” That drew responses including, “You have a chance to send a strong message! What would MLK do? Not host,” and, “Why not stand up and refuse to host instead of making jokes?”
And a source told Web site Naughty Gossip that “behind the scenes Chris is under extreme pressure to pull out. Many leaders in the black community think he would help progress be made if he quits his hosting job.”
However, “Chris is listening to what they have to say, but thinks he will have a bigger impact by doing the show. He thinks it is easier to make a difference from the inside. Chris has already started to write white people jokes for the show.”
The whole “is it better to make change from within the system or as an outsider to the system?” argument is actually very much in tune with Martin Luther King’s philosophy, and I think it’s a completely valid argument to have. Spike Lee uses MLK’s words (Spike wrote an Instagram post yesterday on MLK Day) to tell the Academy he was boycotting this year’s ceremony, even though he won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Governors Awards this year. But you can’t deny that MLK had establishment allies, white allies, and that he sometimes did work within the system too. Does anyone really think that African-Americans in Hollywood are the only ones sick of the lack of diversity at the Oscars and beyond? Of course not. So why shouldn’t Chris Rock stand in front of that crowd of white faces and dare them to laugh at his racially charged jokes?
Here’s Spike Lee’s Instagram. While I totally respect Spike’s point of view, wouldn’t it have been pretty powerful to see him at the Oscars this year, especially if he was given time on stage to accept his Lifetime Oscar and make a speech about diversity in Hollywood?
#OscarsSoWhite… Again. I Would Like To Thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors Of The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences For Awarding Me an Honorary Oscar This Past November. I Am Most Appreciative. However My Wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee And I Will Not Be Attending The Oscar Ceremony This Coming February. We Cannot Support It And Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy. But, How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White? And Let's Not Even Get Into The Other Branches. 40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can't Act?! WTF!! It's No Coincidence I'm Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday. Dr. King Said "There Comes A Time When One Must Take A Position That Is Neither Safe, Nor Politic, Nor Popular But He Must Take It Because Conscience Tells Him It's Right". For Too Many Years When The Oscars Nominations Are Revealed, My Office Phone Rings Off The Hook With The Media Asking Me My Opinion About The Lack Of African-Americans And This Year Was No Different. For Once, (Maybe) I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot. If Someone Has Addressed This And I Missed It Then I Stand Mistaken. As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The "Real" Battle Is. It's In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks. This Is Where The Gate Keepers Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To "Turnaround" Or Scrap Heap. This Is What's Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With "The Green Light" Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, "I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS". People, The Truth Is We Ain't In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. (Cont'd)
Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.
Could he even back out at this point? He probably has some sort of contract, right?
I don’t want him to pull out. I want him to put them on blast.
Me, either. I want him to go on stage and point out that he’s the only Black person there. I want him to point out that no people of color were nominated for acting. I really really want him to make it uncomfortable for them.
I do too. It’s a tough call- I think it will it get a ratings boost from people wanting him to go for the throat. I think a lot of people would be more inclined to boycott it if Chris wasn’t the host, that’s for sure.
I want him to stay in too, and that’s why.
Yeah, he probably has a contract & can’t back out, which is way I want him to put them on blast. He probably will it’s Chris Rock we are talking about.
Same here. He needs to make the old fogies squirm and put in on record for millions to hear.
Exactly. The only chance I WOULD have of watching this farce is to see Chris roast them alive. Go get ’em for the lack of women, too, Mr. Rock. No quarter, no surrender.
Me, too. Hoping he will go the way of Kanye (televised w/ Mike Myers) to GWB/43 after Katrina.
I think he has the platform to do so and should. I don’t think he should back out.
I agree, it’s better than he stays as host this year. He is the perfect person to make them uncomfortable!
Can’t wait until all the old white men are out of the Oscars, Hollywood and Congress.
sure but do you think they would enforce that given this situation? that would blow up in their faces even more.
Agree. As I keep saying, when he comes out to do the opening bit he should say that he can’t be part of it and then walk off the stage. Any backlash that would come his way as a result would be well and truly negated by all the support he’d receive for doing it. It’d be a way more powerful statement than hosting the show and cracking jokes about it.
What support? No wihte actor or filmmaker ofnanynsort would dare to criticise the Academy except for those who already got their cookie.
I’m sure he has a contract but it probably has some sort of loophole, and if the Academy figures they’ve got a choice between letting him out gracefully or forcing him to spend the entire (and usually excruciatingly dull) show mining this one issue and obscuring the awards themselves, they’d probably let him out.
I’m gonna say what political correctness wouldn’t allow any1 to say: how about, the nominated white actors were better than the few black actors who had potential to be nominated.
How about, the problem is not #Oscarsowhite but #Hollywoodsowhite.
How about, create more roles for ethnic actors so that they’re given the chance to get nominated and not diminish the work of white actors who did a fine job and deserved their nominations this year or the previous one.
Mimi, I don’t think anyone is trying to diminish the work of the non-minority actors nominated. The people who are speaking out on this issue are fully aware that the #oscarsowhite issue is only a symptom of the underlying problem – and that is the lack of racial diversity in filmmaking as a whole. It’s simply that the announcement of the Oscars was the breaking point. And it provides a stage (literally and figuratively) to shed light on the problem and hopefully bring about change.
@mimi your comment has already been said by other people in the other threads regarding this issue and even in this particular thread. Your comment is not as original as you think it is. Keep up.
Second, it is not easy for non whites to find funding for films that don’t involve white people. Even the host of the show, who is arguably one of the most successful comedians of the last twenty-five years, found it hard to find funding for his last project.
Did you see all the nominated films and acting noms from this and last year? Well, I have. And most of the noms this year and last year are complete jokes. Emma Stone for Birdman, really? American Sniper?
Oh mimi. Plenty of people say that.
But why is it that the high profile roles performed by black actors are almost always overlooked unless it’s a superstar? And it doesn’t bother you that the most recent nominated performances by black actors are: slaves, housekeepers, and a Somali Pirate?
Exactly. Maybe black directors need to stop making stupid movies like Madea and Why Did I get Married and actually put out some good, Oscar worthy work. And the actors should taking those silly roles too.
These actors can always turn down the roles if they want. You can’t complain about not being nominated and then turn around take a role they find demeaning or insulting, just to get the award you lust for. I remember Natalie Portman years ago said she gets scripts about playing a holocaust victim but she always turned then down because she did not want to get stereotyped as the go-to jewish holocaust actress. If she can say no to those roles, then so can blacks.
@Loony – “Maybe black directors need to stop making stupid movies like Madea and Why Did I get Married and actually put out some good, Oscar worthy work.”
Maybe white directors should too:
“The Hottie and the Nottie”
The list goes on and on and on. And no, unless you’re in the top tier of acting, actors normally don’t turn down roles otherwise they get a reputation as being picky and won’t get hired for anything.
Might I point out some of the best movies featuring African American actors and directors (not “blacks”):
“A Raisin in the Sun”
“Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner”
“The Rosa Parks Story”
“Waiting to Exhale”
The list goes on and on.
Your comments are offensive and demean the work of many fine directors and actors whose talents deserve to be showcased at the Oscars.
@Khadija- Exactly this. Like PoC can wave a magic wand and get any movie they want made.
@Loony, your comment makes me sad. You absolutely can complain about the lack of diversity in nominations while also turning down a role that is demeaning or insulting. In fact, the two kind of go hand in hand. If the main roles available to minority actors are demeaning or insulting, their chances of being recognized for their work are slim.
Also, the comparison of Natalie Portman to black actors is downright erroneous. She is a successful white actress, who happens to also be Jewish, with a solid career. Of course she has the luxury of turning down roles, and her appearance allows her to distance herself from her religion if she wishes. Black actors can’t distance themselves from their own skin.
Do not worry Mimi…. You are not alone. I said the same. Oh btw watched Jobs, The Danish Girl, Revenant, Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Birdman etc. And they were great and all Oscar Worthy….
After “political correctness” all I saw was “womp womp womp womp womp.”
@Mimi It’s not just create more roles for non-white actors…there’s an entire system. The recent fiasco of Matt Damon’s comments highlighted that issue – the blindness to the need for diversity behind the camera; like your comment, his idea of racial diversity was solely on-screen, he saw no need for it behind the scenes – which is where the film-makers are, who will either change or maintain what we see on-screen in the future.
@Khadija I agree, many times there are un-deserved nominations going to white actors…considering how many movies are released each year, it really shows the narrow focus of the voters, and also the heavy influence the studios and executives (Harvey, etc) have with the campaigns for their movies & actors.
@Loony seriously? If white SNL alumni such as Adam Sandler can make stupid movies, than there is certainly room for non-white directors and actors to do the same.
Instead of complaining….wouldn’t it be smarter for the Will Smiths, the Spike Lee’s, the Oprah Winfrey’s, etc. to start funding more diverse movies. The problem, to me, seems to be the lack of diverse movies, so how could the Academy nominate any African Americans…(and, if Will Smith had been nominated for Concussion, believe me, Jada would have been there with bells on), when they really didn’t have any to choose from. These, rich, powerful, black men and women in Hollywood should start paying to produce, diverse scripts, with black directors, black writers, black actors, etc. Fix it….just don’t complain about it!
@Mimi: The Academy doesn’t value diversity. That’s why they have a system of apartheid that keeps non English speaking movies separate from the English speaking movies with their Best Foreign Language category.
Yep. So true.
Someone remind me when the last time it was that some “journalist” polled Academy members about whether or not they’d watched the best picture nominee for which they voted, and which subsequently won, that starred a mainly white cast? Because someone wanted to make a point that the only reason 12 Years a Slave won was because of a pity/token vote. That’s the only reason why some people think blacks win or get anything in life. Black people CANT win. That’s the lesson of America and why Obama got what he got as President. I’ll wait….
I’m pretty sure he’s contractually obligated to do this at this point. If he walks out there would be a big breach of contract law suit. Plus, he skewered the establishment when he hosted the first time, why not do it again now?
I totally agree. The only way to make change is to do it within. I feel the boycotts will have very little effect. I haven’t watched the Oscars since I was living in my parents house and my friends don’t either. Is the Oscars getting any 35-40 and under viewers? I feel like it’s becoming like any other awards ceremony for any other profession. Why would you watch if it’s not your sector? Sometimes I do watch the clips and click on celebitchy to see highlights of what people are wearing. But even that isn’t all that interesting. Meh…Hollywood is Hollywood. They try to portray themselves as some special liberal breed of people but really they are just rich people interested in themselves and becoming richer.
Simple. The Oscars have been irrelevant for a very long time. It remains me of the Miss World contests. A dog and pony show and a big bore fest.
Just a quick though, Chris Rock should pull out and get Trump to host instead.
The studio’s are living in the past and have a deep seated disrespect for the paying public. The viewing public’ has a more wider choice for viewing films, these days, therefore why are the voters not from a wider mix. Black, White, straight, gay, young, old.
Hollywood/Academy is out of touch. TV is the place to be.
Spike Lee already made that speech about diversity.. when he made his oscar speech in November 2015
Yep. And look how far that got us. Enough with the speeches and jokes already. Even MLK understood that sometimes you HAVE to play hardball, whatever that means in this case.
Truth. The state’s that have seen the most attempts at change have been the state’s where riots have occured. People want discussion because it’s easier to ignore.
Yeah this already happened months ago.
I support everyone’s means of protest–whether it’s boycotting the show altogether or showing up and demonstrating, or calling out the lily whiteness of it all using a national, nea, global platform.
I feel for Chris Rock. He is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Hopefully he will follow his conscious, whether it is to host or to pull out of the show, and get support from the entertainment community and fans.
No pun intended: stuck between a Rock and The Oscars.
White people jokes?!?
Right. Because all white people are over-privileged, old, out of touch members of the Academy board.
Yeah, pretty tacky of the ‘source’ or whoever wrote the article.
I think, under the circumstances, we can suck it up and put those words into context.
It would be much more effective if Chris Rock puts them into context and calls out the Academy specifically. Pinning this on “white people” during all of the racially charged controversy is not going to have an impact.
But Chris Rock isn’t the one who said “white people jokes.” That was “a source.” He probably will be more specific.
Yes. Because the Oscars are painfully out of touch. Just like you can recoil at that, people of color are recoiling at the fact that we are not considered “worthy” of a single acting nod in a year when there were a number of movies featuring people of color with gravitas.
Wow! You sure can read a lot into three words!
Well, @Catwoman, you said a lot in three words – whether you intended to or not.
Why not both ways?
I think he would do better by spending the entire show making everyone in the audience squirm. There are times when offensive comedy can be put to good use, and here he would be “punching up.” I would love for all the voting members to go home feeling like they just got yelled at by their ma.
That would be awesome and get the message across pretty damn effectively.
That would be unprofessional and immature. Chris shouldn’t turn this into a Maury Povich moment but do the job he was contracted to do, not lower himself to the level of Ricky Gervais. If people want to boycott then by all means stay home but I really wish JPS would shut her I’M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA mouth.
Agreed, Whatthe. I actually think its kind of remarkable that she assumes that she would even be missed.
@Ineedanap–That would be awesome and get the message across pretty damn effectively.
I am not even sure what is a good, if any, solution. I am not sure how “making the audience” which is mostly his peers, squirm, would be a good thing. Guilting people into something? Is that a good way? I agree that the situation must change but would making fun of the academy achieve more equality going forward?
I agree that pulling out sends a strong message but there again, you will end up with a white host stepping in and meanwhile would Chris see backlash in the future as far as his career is concerned? Should he be the one to take one for the team?
A majority of the people he would make “squirm” have nothing to do with who gets nominated.
And a lot of the people who were inconvenienced by the boycotts and marches in Birmingham had nothing to do with Black people being made to sit on the back of the bus.
I don’t think BirmIngham and not receiving an Oscar nomination are comparable.
And I think it is. It is all part of the same injustice and the same thought process: people of color are “less than.”
That’s exactly what I think too. Chris Rock is known for roasting the status quo while speaking the truth. He can make everyone from the Academy to the viewing audience uncomfortable. He knows how to do so.
I also want the cast of Straight Outta Compton and Creed to not attend. I think that would make an impact as well. Its ridiculous that in a movie shouldered by people of color those movies got noms for the only white people involved. FFS
“Chris Rock is known for roasting the status quo while speaking the truth.”
I agree with your take on Chris Rock 100% , Alex. Which is why I’m in favor of him fulfilling his contract to host.
I can definitely see why he would consider backing out. But I really hope he doesn’t, because Chris is brilliant. And I’m hoping that he will lean more towards truth-saying than towards simple roasting this year. He has the platform to speak, and I suspect he will use that platform well. He might surprise everyone by being a bit less entertaining and a little more frank than they expect, and if he goes that route then I’m all for it!
So let me see. Why should he make Redmayne or Fassbender or Winslet or DiCaprio squirm? What did they do?
People are so bent on revenge they don’t see how ridiculous some of it sounds.
+1 .. how is the current nominees fault? .. What about other POC? I don’t see any outcry for them ..
Farhi, those actors aren’t simply nominees; they are members of the academy and voted on the nominations. They are in a position to speak out here. Let’s see what they do or don’t do.
After reading this topic here the past few days it’s surprising what knowledge I’ve come away with. Some smart cookies in this crowd.
What I think it boils down to is the Academy is a network of good ol’ boys. And just like any other fraternity they take care of their own. I don’t think these nominations are made based on merit as much as it is on connections. If you’re not part of the club, well to bad. So you ask if Leo, JLaw, ect have any sway. Of course they do. But don’t actors have some of the biggest egos to feed on the planet? You think they want to share their candy?
And I find that to be so sad, that an award for the most recognized art form out there is fixed.
Redmayne, Fassbender, and Winslet are a part of the ACADEMY that votes for these awards. They, along, with the other, mostly white academy members that will be in the audience on Oscar night are the only ones with the power to change the status quo.
Right, as the saying goes… it’s all in who you know. Winslet, for example is publicly promoting Leo. Not only is she a member of the Academy, but surely she is in the good graces of at least some of these nameless other members. I’m certain it’s not difficult for her to mention her former costar. It’s just about being part of the network. With everything in life its who you know, isn’t it?
” Winslet, for example is publicly promoting Leo.”
You don’t think she would have done it if she had a black costar someone like Chiwitel or David O.? I am sure she would.
I will say I think Brits are much more close knit and support each other more, I see black and white British actors socializing. I don’t see the same with American actors. That is where it needs to start – not attacking each other, but getting to know each other. They are all professionals, all in the same industry they should have a lot in common.
My feeling is that he won’t be that aggressive in calling the Academy out. One or two jokes, sure. But he’ll suffer consequences if he really goes for the jugular of white Hollywood.
I’d like to see a Brando and watch a winner refuse his/her award. My feeling, though, is that today’s actors/actresses are so out of touch and so entitled, they’d never refuse an Oscar.
Other than reforming the academy to include people of wider ethnic diversity, how could the academy ensure that this wouldn’t happen again (even if they DID reform the academy)? I am sure an artist wouldn’t want to be nominated ‘just’ because they were of colour, so how do you rectify this without resorting to tokenism? Genuine question.
Good question. I was wondering the same thing.
The uproar isn’t that people of color weren’t nominated, it’s that talented people of color who did Oscar worthy work weren’t nominated while white colleagues, in some cases from the same films, were nominated. Tokenism is not an issue here.
Perfectly stated. We want equality not favors.
I see that you are saying, but there were LOTs of oscar-worthy performances that weren’t nominated, regardless of skin colour. But the people decrying the nominations ARE saying the problem is that people of colour weren’t nominated. That is the problem, right? If it was just a question of talent being ignored — well that is nothing new in The Academy. It is a subjective vote – there is no guarantee of universal fairness. It is a judgement of talent, which is always, always a matter of opinion, not fact.
Perfect illustration of circular logic. Talent matters most but it actually doesn’t matter and it’s all subjective anyway. Therefore, it makes sense that only white people are nominated….
I don’t get why people don’t get it. Where is this obtuseness coming from? Is it really willful ignorance or just white privilege? Or what. Someone enlighten ME for once!!!!!! Please!!!!!
@Pinky- haha I feel you. That was me during yesterdays thread too.
Reforming the Academy is what’s needed at this point. The Academy is overwhelmingly a bunch of old, white men. The membership needs to be revised and a shake up to happen at a much quicker pace than it is.
The President of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs has made a statement to this effect, but they need to pick up the pace and put a focus on reform.
These old white men have voted Oscars to Octavia Spencer, Jamie Foxx, Forrest Whitikar, Mo’Nique, Jennifer Hudson and Morgan Freeman among others.
As I see it there are two issues: the lack of diversity among the Academy’s membership and the lack of diversity in the films that Hollywood studios make. The first issue can be fixed: several well-respected industry insiders have called for the Academy to make sweeping changes- the reason the Academy is so out of touch is because it’s a lifetime membership, so the majority of Academy members haven’t actively worked in the film industry in years, sometimes decades. One solution would be to keep membership as a lifetime benefit, but limit voting to those people who have worked on a film within the last 10 years or so- that would allow the Academy to quickly change the voting blocks, rather than trying to accept several hundred young and diverse members each year, which still hasn’t had an impact.
The other solution is harder- tv has certainly got the message that stories about non-white people and stories about women are compelling, but movies are way behind.
I agree with your assessment, that the problem is two pronged. I think in order to really change the who is in and who gets to make films, there needs to be a mentorship outreach by the people at the top to those outside of their type. Men need to reach out to women, white film makers need to reach out to non-whites, and share their connections and accumulated wisdom. It is kind of a fantasy, but it would be lovely if that could happen.
They can’t 100% ensure it never happens again (taste is subjective, and there is an element of, “I simply thought X was better than Y” involved), but by increasing diversity within the ranks of the Academy, they’ll increase the odds of inclusion. The problem is that the Academy is overwhelmingly old, white, and male. I don’t think (most of them) are virulent racists, but they just don’t care about the stories of POC and women. The overlap with the studios executives and producers who don’t fund films by women and minority filmmakers is strong. It’s an interrelated problem. But for the Academy there is a fairly simple solution: induct more minorty/female members, though they’d have to induct *hundreds* to even make a dent in the demographics, and they usually only admit a few dozen members each year. Adding 12-20 female/minority fimmakers a year isn’t going to change things fast enough. So they’re probably going to end up moving everyone who hasn’t actively worked on a film in the last 10-15 years to non-voting status, most of whom are going to be retirees. Which is ageism. We’re going to fix one problem by creating another. It’s going to be very messy.
I really don’t think anything is going to change until the older members start, um, moving on to a better place and millenials start becoming members. I don’t think the academy will look how it does now in 20 years. All those old white men over 60 will be gone or close to being gone.
And the only time films with people of color are nominated is when they have a white savior narrative. The Blind Side, 12 Years A Slave, Django Unchained, The Help – just to name a few recent ones. We all saw how much love Selma got.
“I really don’t think anything is going to change until the older members start, um, moving on to a better place”
That’s exactly why they’re talking about changing the rules to boot out the retirees. If they don’t do something, nothing is going to change for 20-30 years, waiting for these people to, ahhh, return to dust. It’s ageist, but I don’t see another alternative.
@Ladyjane: when two of the best films last year, Creed and Compton, get nominations but for the only white people on the movie you can see the problem. Sly gets a nom but not MBJ or Ryan Coogler? An entire movie about rappers and the nomination goes to the two white screenplay writers? Those movies were very successful and clearly worthy, it’s not hard to see exclusion here.
The solution is two-fold I think. First, make movies with diverse leads and second, work on the Academy’s member make up and get more minorities in there.
For Compton, why weren’t the script writer’s black? Surely they would write a more authentic story than white guys? As a rank outsider on the issues about US race relations I can see both points, maybe the work is not there to nominate , and how about this…if it is an old white man problem perhaps they are just more attuned to stories of their own culture? They are not really into women’s stories, they are not into queer stories or black stories. They are moved by and love hetero white man stories. If that is so , then the only way to an equal footing is as everyone is saying, have a diverse voting base. I can see that if I was an Academy member there are heaps of films I would resent watching simply cause I hate violent man movies, just do, they do not speak to me and they are boring. So would I end up voting for one? No… Does that mean that the work is not excellent? No it just mean I have a cultural story bias. If you want one exemplar award for acting then the voters have to be properly diverse. Again I know I know nothing, but its a numbers game.
Add a category for minorities only – movie, director, actors, etc., at least everyone would feel good about themselves.
I love when Chris Rock tackles race but a bunch of jokes will change nothing. If anything, they will diffuse the situation. You’ll have footage of The Powers That Be laughing heartily along, acknowledging that they are the butt of the joke. The white audience will go “aaahhh, see you got your pound of flesh. So we are good now?”. And that will be the end of that, for maybe a year or two.
Having said that, poor Chris is probably contractually obligated to appear. He is kind of trapped in the role anyhow, so he might as well make the best of a bad situation. My sympathies to a good and funny man.
Your first paragraph is exactly my fear.
Making fun of a situation allows an uncomfortable reality to be addressed. It made a very big difference to Bill Cosby.
@Naya I agree with you 100%.
Couldn’t he drop out if he does it now? Remember in 2012 Eddie Murphy was supposed to host but he dropped out when they ousted Brett Rattner.
I’m not even sure if boycotting the Oscars would work. Rev Jessie Jackson did it in 1996 and nothing changed much.
Honestly, I think the only thing that would upset the Academy is if the white actors pulled out. But I don’t see a bunch of nominated people turning down their chance to get an Oscar and I imagine the studios would react with a vengeance.
“The white audience will go “aaahhh, see you got your pound of flesh. So we are good now?”. And that will be the end of that, for maybe a year or two.”
When was the last time Chris Rock hosted? They’re still *furious* about it. They’re still mad at Jon Stewart. Hosts are chosen to bring in ratings, not to appease the members, and a *lot* of them *loathe* hosts like Chris Rock because *they do not like to be laughed at*. They do not brush it off as “we’re good now”. They *hate* being roasted. They hate this attention. I will not be surprised in the least if some of these worthy films and performances, like Creed, were ignored (except for Stallone, but come on, that’s a nostalgia vote) because there is a huge contingent within the Academy who *hates* being lectured to about this stuff. It makes them reactionary and contrary and not want to cooperate with the inclusion and diversity initiatives going on within the Academy. (Remember that meeting about women and the goal of creating a mentoring program to foster female talent in the industry? I heard from a woman who directs commercials frequently for my company that a very prominent male member of the Academy who has a huge amount of sway within that group refused to participate because he felt forced into it. They’re having a hard time getting people to actually mentor the talent because they don’t like being told what to do.)
So yeah, a night of Chris Rock holding their feet to the fire will be miserable for them, and glorious for the rest of us, because seriously,f*ck those guys.
@claire has got it right. NOBODY cared about the civil rights movement until white people got involved or started watching the news about the protests and declared something wasn’t right. Embarrassing Birmingham in white peoples’ eyes made the difference. Nobody cared about the mass incarceration of the poor, underprivileged until the focus was placed on a white man through Making a Murderer. Now there will be oversight and prison reform.
It only matters when white people take up the cause as evil can only take hold when good people do nothing. There needs to be solidarity among the classes and races. We need Marlon Brando and John Lennon and David Bowie, etc., back. The pressure should be on the white artists and nominees not to attend, rather than the black ones.
True. And in this case, peripheral people not essential to the broadcast deciding not to attend isn’t going to bother the Academy in the slightest. Chris staying as host means more people will tune in because they want to see the comedic bloodbath. The Academy will love that viewership increase.
Chris bowing out, as well as the main people being celebrated at this, would be a much better way to have an impact and shame the Academy.
In that case how is antagonizing ALL white people is helping this cause?
All I keep hearing here for 2 days is that “old white men” are a problem. Well, I have several “old white men” in my family and they are wonderful people. I am pretty sure majority of the “old white men” in the Academy as also good people. So, I am not on board with this, sorry.
@Farhi I don’t think people are trying to insult all old white men. And if they are it’s silly. A 70 year old white man cares as much about Straight Outta Compton as Straight Outta Compton’s audience cares about a film about a 70 year old white man. I know I wouldn’t care to see the latter.
They need to give members that haven’t worked in over ten years limited voting power. Or just wait it out for those people to die off.
@Farhi, I’m sure that your family and the academy is bursting at the seams with wonderful old white men, but their “wonderfulness” doesn’t negate their potential to harbor racial biases that may impact the lives of people of color–especially if they hold positions of power. If calling out those biases makes you or them feel uncomfortable, then I say “bravo.” That’s the point.
Honestly, I think it would make a bigger impact if he pulled out. It would be a huge deal. But I don’t know what kind of allies and pull he has behind the scenes and how pulling out would affect that. Maybe he knows what he’s doing. Either way, I certainly can’t judge him and if he does host he’ll do a great job.
As for “pull”, I dont think its very much, which is telling in itself. One of the most successful comedians of all time but he struggled to finance Top Five. It took Jay Z and Kanye Wests money to pay for production costs (true fact for a lot of black films actually). Meanwhile Adam Sandler….
I don’t think the majority of white viewers would particularly notice or care if he were there any more than they would notice or care that it’s another very white Oscars. Criminy, half the goober comments I read on this subject (elsewhere, not here) are such thinly veiled racism. It’s gross.
Eddie Murphy pulled out of hosting the Oscars in 2012 and all they did was find another host.
Agree. No one should judge what Chris Rock does in this tough situation. That’d be a disgrace.
Do you remember what Viola Davis said about the lack of diversity and the opportunity? Chris Rock has the opportunity here
I think he is going to take it. I feel like the Oscars’ people will try to keep him in check or remind him that he shouldn’t be talking about certain topics (point in case, this one) but, I think he’s going to go for it. If he does, I’m going to make sure I have my bag of popcorn ready 🙂
I feel bad from him, he’s probably getting pressure from all sides. It really should be up to him and he should trust his gut.
Side note, I have a really hard time reading things when people capitalize every word. What is that all about? I keep seeing people do it all the time.
I feel bad for him, too, and I don’t know why people use title caps in prose. It’s extremely annoying, not to miss the point of the conversation.
I hate reading anything that capitalizes every word. I tend to just avoid said posts.
Capitalizing every word is the way to “shout” on the internet. I HATE it. Shouting, in real life or on the internet does nothing. I actually don’t read those posts because it is annoying, just like a shouting person is annoying. As for Chris, not sure what would be the best. I say negatives in both. But in the end, I think that him doing the hosting would be best.
I believe that when people type like that they think that their words have more authority, when in actuality it’s annoying and makes them come off as Look At Me, I Am So Superior With My Majestic Capitalized Letters. I’m Just Gonna Capitalize Every Freaking Letter Because Why The Hell Not? I would take what he wrote a lot more seriously if he wrote normally. I might actually read it.
I thought it was shouting when you capitalize every LETTER, not the beginning of every word.
Maybe he’s just doing it to show anger or passion about what he is writing. Who knows, maybe he’s just using title case because that’s the setting of whatever device he is using.
Poor Chris Rock is on to a hiding either way.
The only issue I have with this blowback is that from now on there will be a mental asterix if we, people of colour, win anything.
It won’t be considered on merit, but on pity (eugh!) and duress from the ‘Oscar Scandal of 2016’.
It always has been. And there haven’t been that many to begin with!!! Five, I think? Hattie, Halle, Sidney, Denzel, Cuba, and Whoopee. Let me know if I forgot anyone.
In fact, there ought to be an asterisk next to the names of winners given the award when there were NO people of color nominated. Like the 1984 Olympics.
Lupita and Jennifer Hudson.
Also Jaimie Fox, Morgan Freeman, Louis Gossett Jr, Forrest Whittiker, Monique, Octavia Spencer.
Not to play divide and conquer but let’s remember the numbers are worse for Asian actors (there have been four) and only so so for Latinos. This is not a Black/white issue and it is inappropriate to limit it to that.
Octavia spencer and Monique.
Thank you. I stand corrected. 14. And, yeah, I feel you about people of other races. However, black people are always the canaries. When they win rights, other minorities benefit even more than black folks. Always
Chris can back out.
I’m sure Ellen, Hugh, or fill in the blank white person would be able to jump in.
I’m more interested in viewers boycotting the show.
Who even really watches it for more than the red carpet anyway??
That is a GREAT idea and perhaps the only way the Academy will take notice
If the VIEWERS boycott the show.
People were going to watch for Rock. The material is just a bonus.
Part of me feels like he should put his money where his mouth is and back out. But then part of me feels like he should go through with hosting and use it to his advantage. I don’t know what I’d do in his shoes.
That said, I really think the oscars have been irrelevant for a long time. It’s a bunch of self important egos giving awards to over inflated egos for “films” most people either never saw or didn’t like.
I don’t think it’s irrelevant in the industry though. Your average Joe on the street might not care, but look at the money and publicity efforts that go into the campaigns still. Plus there’s money to be made if a little film gets a lot of award buzz and people go see it. In the past week I’ve gone to see the Danish girl and Room with friends, mostly because of the attention on the performances.
I think studio heads and other executives still care a great deal about the Oscars, and ultimately they are the ones deciding what gets made and who gets cast in it. I think they are the ones who are able to make the biggest impact in more diversity in films, so holding their feet to the fire through the Oscars might help.
Yes. The Oscars might seem stale and irrelevant to us, the viewers, but I think they’re still important to the power players who can affect change in the industry.
I go back and forth on whether Rock should stay in or pull out of the hosting gig, I see both sides.
even though the ratings have been sliding over the last few years (as they have for everything except football), the Oscars still average high 30 million to 40 million viewers a year. A blockbuster film like Star Wars sells about 25-30 million tickets on opening weekend. So, it’s still very relevant, especially in terms of business. Most of the movies featured in the Oscars are not blockbusters, which means the Oscars are a chance to sway people to go see a movie. There are financial spikes after nominations are announced and after the winners are awarded. it’s the Oscar bounce. It’s real, and it’s lucrative. Not to mention that for all the bellyaching about irrelevancy, nominations still make nightly news and everyone looks at the dresses and talks about the speeches and the monologue, etc. Even if it’s mocking or complaining, the Oscars still dominate the pop cultural conversation this time of year. They’re not *important* but they are relevant.
I think Chris Rock is in a bad position. He probably would very much like to just walk away from the ceremony right now. But I think it is really easy for people to call for him to back out at the last second, but probably none of those people have to worry about working in the industry again if they pulled a move like that.
If I were him, I would still do the hosting gig and then spend the entire night going off script in order to make it a little uncomfortable for everyone. This doesn’t solve the problem by any means, but it keeps it fresh and up front.
I don’t know what backing out would accomplish and I mean him specifically. If anything, HE is the one person who – and this is really just me – should not boycott this whole thing. If anyone can actually use the Oscars to speak some uncomfortable truths while being entertaining, it’s him. And he doesn’t even have to make everything a joke, there’s plenty of room for being serious although let’s not forget that he is a comedian after all. Whatever he says in his opening monologue, people will talk about it. If he backs out, people will forget this immediately.
It won’t make a difference if he makes those jokes. None whatsoever. It will just make everyone feel better about themselves. Look we have a black man host and we laugh at his race charged jokes, we are really not that racist. If he back out there will be a massive scandal.
He won’t back out because its too late to do that.
You don’t really know that though. The chances that him hosting will change anything are slim to none but don’t assume that he can’t make everyone uncomfortable. The man is not new. He’s been around, he’s hugely successful and just good at what he does. He will not make it easy for them to laugh anything off. Also, you don’t know that there will be a massive scandal. Really? Why? He IS Chris Rock but let’s not pretend that a comedian backing out of hosting an award show will change things either.
There’s an argument to be made for both options but nobody really knows what will happen. I highly doubt he will back out. Again, why would he? It doesn’t seem to be his style.
One other thing.
Ibris Elba mentioned he got his big break from The Prince’s Trust. (Thank you Prince Charles!)
Something similar should be created in order to provide the funding for POC individuals to finance films.
Idris made a speech to the UK parliament yesterday, bemoaning diversity on British TV. You can see a clip here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35148444. He’s comparing the US favourably with the UK.
I don’t agree fully with his analysis – casting is much improved here (won’t go into detail as this is about the Oscars not British TV). I think we have the same gatekeeping problem that Spike Lee identifies above. If the structure changes, the casting will change, and so will the awards change. But changing the casting doesn’t change the structure: it just puts black and brown folks into white people’s stories.
Here, the BBC runs a diversity funding programme specifically to improve access to the gatekeeping groups – commissioners, editors, writers, directors. But it’s £3.5 million a year out of a total budget of £5 billion. I mean, that’s so low it’s almost insulting, right?
Boycotting Chris Rock hosting the Oscars is just going to be used as an excuse not to have a black host in the future. Especially is he makes jokes and references to the whiteness of the Oscars. Why not protest at the Oscars? Talk about it in the press room and on the red carpet, wear clothing or hold signs talking about it?
Exactly! I think it would be so cool of him to do that! Plus as a comedian, he has the skills to be subtle and in your face all at the same time. I think the Oscars’ people will be cringing the entire night in anticipation of what he’ll do
I can see both sides of the argument. I lean towards refusing to participate, but it’s his decision.
Yes, he’s in a difficult place. But he would probably face legal ramifications if he cancels due to contractual obligations. I don’t envy him, he risks upsetting his fans, who pay money to see his movies, if he does it. And he risks legal ramifications and blacklisting in Hollywood if he pulls out.
Also, it’s much easier for well-known and established black artists like Jada and Spike to say boycott, but what about the folks who are just coming up and could use the exposure, recognition and networking? They’re just supposed to throw their opportunities to land more movies away? Because *that* will result in more films being made and honoured?
I was thinking this as well, the risk (?) is that a boycott would make the Oscars and industry whiter and whiter. I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t envy Chris Rock. It comes down to opportunities to ensure that tokenism isn’t a thing (everyone keeps talking about the same handful of deserving performances/films that were snubbed/overlooked) and I don’t know how to fix that. It seems ludicrous that this is still a problem.
Honey, unestablished black artist arent even invited to the after parties, I dont know what makes you think they are invited to the ceremony. Unless of course you mean as seat fillers, in which case, showing up isnt gaining them much. The value of a boycott is when people who “have made it” speak up. Nobody cares what Billy James, who played a waiter on a Tyler Perry movie, has to say. Plus Billy James benefits from “established” actors using their clout to smash glass ceilings.
Also, what kind of logic is this? Are you suggesting that its unfair to call workers to action if some of them have been more successful than others?
This though, let’s go through the list of young unknown black talent in the last five years…
…it’s a short list isn’t it?
We’re not inundated with Shayleine Woodley, and Jennifer Lawrence’s, and Emma’s upon Emma’s upon Emma’s.
This year/last year we got John Boyega in terms of new ‘unknown’ black talent. That’s it.
The pressure on African-American invitees to the Oscars to boycott them is probably harder on the up and coming individuals rather than their more established peers. It’s one thing for Spike Lee, an established figure who just got a lifetime achievement award, to say he’s boycotting, but more difficult professionally for Ryan Coogler or Michael B. Jordan to skip if invited.
I did think that Jordan, Samuel L. Jackson, and Idris Elba were snubbed. Jordan could have replaced Redmayne in best actor. Jackson is a great talent but has the Nicholas Cage problem of picking roles that in films that aren’t the best movies. Often, he’s the best part of a crappy movie. It would have been nice to see him recognized for a great performance in a good film.
I don’t think that Chris Rock should pull out of hosting. I don’t think he’ll pull any punches in his monologue about the nominations.
Walking away is usually is a sign of a defeat and giving up. My advice would be to work to change the system from the inside. It is the most effective way.
It doesn’t happen overnight and it is not as spectacular explosion, but this is how real change happens, slowly through hard work.
I know people always think that what they are going through is somehow new and different but it is not. There are plenty of lessons in history for everything. Do not destroy the system, subvert it. But it takes years.
No one gets time on stage to accept the lifetime achievement award Oscar anymore. They award it at a ball held earlier in the year and during the ceremony, they play a clip of you accepting it and the camera pans in to you in the audience. Spike’s absence will be noticed.
i haven’t watched the Oscars in I don’t know how long. So, they know he won’t be there. They will show his clip and simply move on. I hope it has an impact on the night and hopefully Chris Rock will make some type of statement. Otherwise it may have no impact if they don’t show Spike Lee. Just trying to figure it out and see how it might play out.
They just show a clip . Its not like he was invited nor Jada.
I would not want to be in Chris Rock’s place. But even if he gets the point across how will that change things? We may see an increase in women and minorities being noticed for in terms acting and filmmaking, also working in the industry. But when it comes to the Academy Awards, the lack of diversity will still not change, as most of the voters are white.
Will next year bring a sudden surge in films being nominated that feature women and minorities? Then the next year back to the same old thing?
It is good that the topic is being discussed and hopefully bring change. But this will not happen overnight
I hope he doesn’t back out. The Oscars just became a lot more interesting.
@Liz, I am going to get my bag of popcorn ready!
I was wondering if/when there would be calls for him to pull out of hosting the Oscars. I haven’t paid attention to the Oscars for years except for the gowns (which I usually just look at the morning after) and somehow this year got sucked into following a certain group of my contemporaries because it’s like watching a train wreck. With the primaries gearing-up in February, it would be strategic to leverage the Oscars to call for greater diversity and representation not just across the arts, but since viewership, especially among the middle-American market is pretty low, it might not have the desired impact or audience.
Reform of the Academy itself is the place to start, a multi-pronged approach to changing representation and participation in the movies and the arts. Section off “smaller” chunks to reform. I think people get overwhelmed with the notion of changing everything, but the Academy is in a place to move the Overton window to the advantage of underrepresented and misrepresented people and for the benefit of American society.
In response to the outrage, I’m sure the Academy is planning a big musical number to pay tribute to the legacy of African Americans in film.
In case he pulls out of hosting let Steve Harvey replace him.
Steve Harvey should announce the Best Actor category.
And what is the opinion of the Academy’s President? She’s african american and female. Chris Rock should host and use as many allies as possible, especially those who’re white. Calling people out or making jokes will not change anything, though.
She posted a long response last night stating the Academy heard the outrage and will begin to change their membership to include not only more people of color, but more women and LGBT people. We’ll see.
Thanks, The Original Mia. I hope she does.
She said 6 months ago about how its gotten better. She’s flipping the script because of the backlash again….not holding my breath really.
They did the boycott for the Grammys I believe. It worked. Like Jada said why are we begging for recognition?
I won’t say what he should do, because I’m not sure. But I won’t be watching the Oscars. However, I never watch the Oscars, I just look at red carpet photos.
So if any gossip sources want to add to the pressure by refusing to buy red carpet photos, as much as I’d miss the pictures, I would support that.
I’ll follow on Twitter.
Yeah I dont know how the Academy didnt recognize Idris Elba or Will Smith with a nomination this year. Idris in particular gave a wonderful and worthy performance in Beasts of No Nation. I dont think this boycott will work or send any message. It just means that next year there will be a few minority pity votes and that would be worse than no nominations. Not every performance is Oscar worthy but in these last 2 years there have been at least a few. Really breaks my heart that we can have so much progress but yet so little.
It is my opinion that those to handsome men should be nominated just for gracing the screen with their beauty but I guess that is a bit shallow of me. They are, too, very talented men.
BONN is a Netflix movie. Its not eligible for an Oscars I feel and Will Smith wasn’t really that great in Concussion. I am sorry but I feel boyoctting won’t help the problems. Also, I think its rude to take away attention from the nominees whose work stood out.
BONN was 100 percent eligible, they just ignored it.
And I am happy to be boycotting the Oscars again this year.
That said, I hope Chris Rock sets the show on fire and lambasts them.
BONN was indeed eligible and did have a theatrical release.
BONN was eligible. It did have a small release in the theaters. Not that the director has any sway in the matter but I do remember Cary giving an interview expressing his dim hopes in the film getting Oscar nominations considering it was Netflix funded, would have a small release and mainly be shown on Netflix.
It’s sad the film overall was snubbed. No nods for Abraham Attah, Idris or Cary.
It’s eligible but Hollywood isn’t going to nominate something from Netflix. Netflix scares them. They’re not ready to let Netflix in to the club yet.
Except that they’ve already nominated a previous Netflix film that, you guessed it, was majority white.
I think Chris Rock just cannot back off. He surely signed a contract that includes a provision that prevents the host from walking away without significant notice…
However, he can and must use this platform and others to send a message.
So must each actor/actress/director/producer etc.. who claims to be indignant and touched by the issue..
It’s not like this is a burden that has to be carried exclusively by Rock or by the so-called representative of all Hollywood”diversities”.
It’s such a nightmare that after decades from the first movements against racial discrimination we still have to FORCE integration within our society.
He won’t back out, if he did it would be the end of his career because nobody would trust him to honour his contractual obligations again. Chris got where he is by being super smart and professional, he’s not going to impulsively throw that away. He’ll mock the hell out of them instead.
The problem (as Chris himself has written and spoken about repeatedly) is that the studios are overwhelmingly white, most of the movies made are produced, written, directed and cast by one group of people. There are fewer opportunities to shine as an actor if you are only limited to a minority of roles specially for black or other ethnic minorities. That’s the problem. The studios can only nominate from the choices available so if the very few movies made with a black lead or director are not up to scratch they can hardly nominate them just to avoid racism accusations.
Chris is the perfect host to highlight the exact issues here and he should do what he does best, better than anyone else.
Agree that he can’t pull out from a professional point of view.
Disagree that making jokes to an all white audiences is the best way.
If he pulls out its the only thing that can really upstage the celebration of lily white, it will be a massive scandal that will really pull focus from your Leos and Jlaws. Its more or less the only thing that can truly embarrass the academy.
If he hosts all the white nominees and studio heads will just nod their head in agreement make some well meaning liberal statements about diversity and continue with the mutual back slapping. Powerful black and minority voices refusing to attend will really piss on Hollywoods liberal profile that they pride themselves on by embarrassing them.
I also don’t agree that because their are fewer roles that makes it less possible for them to be nominated purely. It is a more than actors of colour seem to have to be extraordinary to be nominated.
Its the same pool of actors that are nominated every single year with the occasional outsider thrown in for good measure.
Its a popularity contest for the most .
If it was only based on merit, Chiwetel Ejifor should have an oscar like Eddie Redmayne. In fact it could be argued that Ejifors back catalogue of excellent performances makes him more deserving of one ( lets not kid ourselves its to do with a single performance often actors get one because the feeling is they are owed one or because they are better at campaigning) Michael B Jordan would be nominated along with Stallone because surely we are not saying Jordan is a lesser actor than Stallone?
If it was just on merit Viola Davis should have been nominated just as often as Nicole Kidman or julianne moore. Her work over the years, yet she does not have an academy award.
The bottom line is that even when they decided to honour so called black movies the only nominees are white, which is quite shockingly patronising.
Boycotting the Oscars doesn’t go far enough. It’s the studios that are casting. The number of movies I have seen in last 5 years with Ryan Reynolds or Jennifer Lawrence, who are both just pretty white faces, end of. And I think “Why the fuck isn’t that Chewitel or Rosario?”
Sorry to J Law fans. Loved her in Silver Linings but I’m afraid most of it is hype.
There are so many roles that should not automatically be white faces. Maybe its time for gender and racial quotas in Hollywood.
And yet Adam Sandler keeps making films!
We as an audience get to choose where to spend our money, it’s time to make better choices.
Adam Sandler’s films keep bombing.
The truth is even if a film is doing badly/well it’s not simply about numbers. It’s about the perspective of the person releasing the film’s and giving funding to the film makers.
Several of the last most successful box office movies have featured incredibly diverse casts or been black oriented stories, and yet do we see an equal response? No. Because the gate keepers still don’t see value in black stories or that minority actors can be stars.
The lifetime achievement award is just a segment at the end of the edited tv show and unless its some massive star they are not part of the live broadcast. So if Spike went he would just be shown in quick succession with other “less important” winners . It would not make an impact, people would have hardly noticed because the Leos and Jlaws will be on all the front pages.
The impact is much bigger if he pulls out.
I really feel sorry for him but I think he should not pull out. Good to show that non-white people can be professionals. Think he should continue to be himself and take a few jibes like “Will and Jada are here…no wait they’re not.” I am not sure though if the producers would pressure him to stick to the script due to this controversy. Truly stuck between #aRockandahardplace.
People really think making ” white Jokes ” are going to make a difference didnt last year hosts do the same thing ? and yet here we are again
I dont know there is something really throwback and minstrelsy of the rich white super exclusive group of people having the the funny black guy or the help entertain them at their country club like shindig
Another poster elsewhere said it best That Chris Rock should go through the entire ceremony and not crack ONE “Oscars so white joke and at the end of the ceremony simply say ” I know you were expecting me to make some “white Jokes ” but I just couldn’t as it is NO longer even funny then just drop the mic and bounce !
Censored, that is genius.
Funny. I was just thinking that he’d probably get more traction with shame than with laughter. Obviously he’d have to do it at the end, and do it in less of a I hate white people way and more of a I’m so disappointed in you. True shame is a powerful tool.
Censored, your post really stayed with me. Not good enough to be in the club, but good enough to make them laugh.
This isn’t really an Academy issue. It’s a casting director (Hollywood) issue, where the “juiciest” Oscar-bait roles go to whites. Diversity must be achieved in mainstream roles, not just nominating minorities for typical minority roles, to make a real difference.
Yes I agree the whole industry needs a good shake up.
One my sons friends is an Indian boy, he really wants to become an actor in Hollywood but always gets put off that he won’t be seen anything other than an Indian actor. Case in point Dev Patel.
Is he old enough to watch Master of None on Netflix? Aziz Ansari did a fantastic episode about being an Indian actor.
I hope he doesn’t get discouraged. That’s so sad to hear, that the problem is so bad that the people who could make a difference in it feel too shut out to even try.
Becoming an actor is like becoming a professional athlete, chances of success are minimal. Talent and looks are not a guarantee of success. It is a huge risk, not worth taking, imo.
He is 13, would that show be appropriate?
@ Sarah01 .. that’s a good point; I don’t remember the specifics of that episode, but I’m sure there was some cursing and sexual topics. There’s never any violence, though.
Maybe you could recommend the Fresh Air interview with Aziz and his Asian co-writer/co-star. They discuss their motivations for this episode. Or the All Things Considered interview with Dylan Marron, who runs a Tumblr called “Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color in [Mainstream Film Title].”
My daughter participates in a subjectively judged activity. After every competition people are angry about results they feel to be biased or unfair. I tell my daughter if you want a clear cut result, run track, otherwise it is up to the judge and you have to deal with the out come. Do it because it is fun and you love it not because you may win an award. Who honestly think the Oscars is about the best performance any longer? It is a self congratulatory circle jerk that means nothing. And the idea that there must be diversity regardless of the perceived quality of the performances lowers the bar even further. I didn’t see all the movies so I’m not saying the non-white actors didn’t deserve the nominations, but that’s what the voters thought and that is the point of the whole thing.
It is great that you are letting your daughter participate in sports but your anecdote is involuntarily condescending and nonsensical. The Oscars mean something to every actor/actress who enters the business, no matter what race they are, as it is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon any actor or actress. While it is not as important as saving a life or adopting a child/animal, it is important part of any actors/actresses career-most importantly when someone goes for a salary increase or support for their next project. If they weren’t “that important” then why do all of the white nominees campaign so hard for one.
“And the idea that there must be diversity regardless of the perceived quality of the performances lowers the bar even further.”
Please name ten people who are saying that no matter the quality of the performer they should add an Asian person or a Black or First Nation perso. You will not find that argument in this thread. We are saying that there are many people of color who are qualified but don’t get the chance to be in quality productions as they constantly go to white people of questionable talent. Emma Stone in Aloha or Patricia Mara in Pan.
My own thought is that Chris should still host the Oscars and call out the Academy, producers, casting directors and anyone else who continually see white people as the only option. I am not just talking about hiring more qualified black people but all other qualified POC as well. Diversity in thought and casting is never a bad thing. It makes for a better world/film in the long run.
Agreed. The fact that people are getting so concerned about which grossly overpaid actor gets a shiny statue…. yikes.
some of the most talented white people to ever make movies have never won an oscar. i think just wanting to nominate more people of color doesn’t really change the problem. the problem is that mediocrity is often rewarded. i think the actual nominating process is the issue.
I am sorta with the Boycott off GP but two things: It then becomes a Poorly watched Oscar Under Chris Rock watch ( I might not watch as is cause I LOVE him on Interviews, I can’t with Him in Comedy Yelling every delivery) which … why does he have to eat it cause the Academy is full of Old WHite dudes?
Also This is the equivalent of a BIG ASS WORKING LUNCH for all these people, so if PoC sit this out then you are effectively missing opportunities to work/network/securing financing/meeting writers etc.
What I’d LOVE to know is: where are the white Allies here? where are their voices? where is their Boycott? do you all know what a massive Sh!tshow would be if J.J Abrahams, Brad Pitt and all of Denzel Friends, Quentin and such Sat That Night Out? no red carpet? just a bunch of Shady statements??? They can blackball drunk Ben Affleck from an acting award and all but they can’t punish the entire upper caste if they said “F*ck this”
Also, you don’t want to get into the kind of scab/crossing picket lines infighting that sometimes characterises labour disputes. They damage all the wrong people.
If you can’t get unity on how to fight this, you can at least try for unity of respect for how each individual tries to fight it, you know? If someone’s contributing something, then respect the choice of contribution. I like Chris Rock and I feel like I should believe that he will make the best decision he can. So I believe that.
And I agree. So long as they don’t push to the front of the queue, which would be counterproductive, it would behove some white allies to speak up.
The Brad Pitts, the Angelina Jolies, The Tom Cruises ,etc care more about the awards rather then fighting for others rights. I am sorry but its the truth.
Please don’t put Angelina Jolie in that category. She is a humanitarian. The work she has done in Pakistan and Cambodia is amazing. She cares about other’s rights. Sorry she’s busy giving a sh*t about girls being able to go to school in Pakistan.
I disagree about Brad Pitt as well. I know he did a lot of work in New Orleans. Also, didn’t his production company produce 12 Years of a Slave? Just for starters.
Brad Pitt’s company coproduced 12 Years a slave, and then, Selma, along with other companies, like Oprah’s Harpo and others. You should do your research..
To add to the list Pitt jump on to Produce David Oyelowo “Nightingale” so it would get more exposure and Jolie did the same with “Difret” Jolie is also producing “First they killed my father” and “The Bread Winner” with all native cast and production team.
Yep, white allies need to speak up!
How can anyone be surprised by this?? Hollywood has ALWAYS been out of touch with almost everyone (exception being white, heterosexual men). Out of touch with POC? Check! Out of touch with women? Check! Out of touch with the gays? Check! Unfortunately, WHM control everything everywhere. They are the puppeteers and we are the puppets.
Perhaps the issue is not the Academy failing to recognise minority actors and actresses, but rather producer’s and director’s failure to create interesting, award-worthy roles for minority actor. So yes, I think this year we did see a lack of developed minority roles, and that SHOULD change. However, the academy selects the best in film, and perhaps the industry itself is to blame for not diversifying their strongest films.
I feel for Chris – he’s now in a lose-lose position but I’ll love him no matter what. Meanwhile, I love Spike’s dig at Matt Damon with the green light comment. I hope Mr. Damonsplaining himself caught it.
Pretty sure they have him under contract to host. He could use the opportunity instead to slip in some jokes to make his point. Or negotiate to break the contract to avoid said jokes…..
I know he’s under a contract, but honestly, I think that, even if he was given the choice, he wouldn’t back out. Personally, I hope he doesn’t.
This is SO dumb. I guess we should just leave slots open for POC regardless of their actual talent. Straight Outta Compton was not an Oscar caliber movie. Sorry, it just wasn’t. This is a popularity contest, not racism. Plenty of white actors get snubbed all the time while J Law continues to get nominated.
A number of positive critical awards.
Record high box office.
Break out film of the year.
But sure it’s not ‘Oscar’ calliber.
The truth is there’s always an excuse. There’ll always be an excuse for why a film that stars black talent doesn’t get recognition but somehow the white dudes always deserve roses (Creed).
I shed no tears for SOC not being nominated ,Black men are rewarded enough for their misogynoir and colorism and hype does not always equal Oscar quality(there are many commercial successful white films that are snubbed by the Academy each year hence even the term Oscar bait )
It saddens to me to see how black male identified some black women are that we sometimes seem to forget we are women .
I agree that there is a diversity issue but we are putting the cart before the horse we need to deepen and widen roles/movie for POC so come Awards time there are more quality performances to choose from
As Viola said you cant win for roles that arent there (and the reality is that are simply not there in visible numbers and by insisting that the few that are there MUST be nominated can be easily be derailed into tokenism and nobody wins there
I agree about Straight Outta Compton. It was an excellent movie. But, in my opinion, it wasn’t Oscar caliber either. It was brilliantly made and it was totally entertaining. However, I found the acting sub-par and there were even a few points in the movie that I felt embarrassed by the acting. It wasn’t horrible acting but I think the actors could use a little more acting experience. There were really only a couple of the actors who portrayed the members of NWA who actually had acted in more than a few things and they were the minor players (MC Ren & DJ Yella). Don’t get me wrong I thoroughly enjoyed it.
That being said I do feel that Michael B. Jordan deserved a nom for Creed. I didn’t see Beasts of No Nation but am going to have to because it sounds fantastic!
That is your opinion and the opinion of the mostly white old male Academy, but I would say that Mad Max is really not an Oscar worthy film, but Creed is. The problem with the Academy is they are too old and white and mostly male. They need to add a younger more diverse membership, and contrary to popular opinion you don’t have to be nominated to become a member. I think the President of the Academy may make a total wave of nominations to the Academy and induct a lot of new members and hopefully change it a bit. I think they are limited on the amount of non-nominated members they can put in each year, and they must be in the industry for a while, and that usually makes them older, but maybe she will vote to change the rules a bit.
My problem is why are roles white or black or even female and male sometimes. Now George Clooney did change a role for Sandra Bullock as it originally was male, but even he who was complaining about this really doesn’t have a diverse acting ensemble on his movies. Aside from not impeding African American movies, acting roles really should be more color blind.
“Does anyone really think that African-Americans in Hollywood are the only ones sick of the lack of diversity at the Oscars and beyond? Of course not.”
Exactly this. Some people seems to be using diversity as a synonym for black people (like Jada yesterday). When it would actually mean a fair representation of Latinos, Asians, Africans, Indian, Slavic, Native Americans, Polinesians, Arabs, etc…. All this groups are neglected and constantly stereotyped in Hollywood (e.g. Mexicans: maids, drug dealers, Slavic: mobsters, prostitutes, Arabs: terrorrists, Thai: prostitutes, etc…).
And as someone said in a great comment yesterday, nothing will change if we keep waiting to the award season to cry for “diversity” and being so mad about the lack of it. We have to “vote” via our movie choices throughout the year, because money is the only thing studios are interested about.
Thank you for making that point.
This. Because if we are really going to have an honest discussion about diversity…lets be honest. Blacks get many more nominations than Latinos or Hispanics, who are actually a higher percentage of the population. And don’t get me started on Asians and people from the Middle East. When was the last time either of those groups got any acting nominations? At least the Latinos have gotten a few noms at the last couple golden globes and Emmys.
Eh. Nobody is saying that only Black people are shut out of nominations/Hollywood. Aziz Ansari, Margaret Cho, Gina Rodriguez and many others commented on #oscarssowhite and the lack of diversity in the same way. I don’t see why you should criticize Black actors who talk about the movies they personally feel have been shut out of the nominations unfairly.
Sigh, comments like this…
It just goes around the issue without actually addressing it. You think Native Americans and Latinos don’t know they’re under represented on TV and in movies? That Asians are not forever condemning how they are made into racist stereotypes instead of normal characters? They are. It is not wrong for any group to advocate for itself and considering the long and tortured history of blacks in the U.S. it’s absurd to not see why blacks are furious. Hollywood was literally built off the backs of black workers.
Instead of actually tackling an issue, which is that increases in diversity lead to greater pushes for diversity across ALL ethnic groups we somehow make this into a competition of ‘shame on the blacks for not fighting for the Asians!’. Asian people can fight for themselves and they do everyday, perhaps you’re not listening to them.
Furthermore do you realize the issue blacks fight for is currently being fought by Latinos on prime time television so let me ask you if you’re aware of the actual issue you bring up and what TV shows you’re supporting if you actually believe in this issue?
Also the myth of simply ‘spend your money and the awards/recognition will follow’ has long since been disproven. The SONY hacks revealed quite a lot.
@Eternal- Bless your patience and intelligent responses in threads like these. It is frustrating the he’ll out of me that people think this is such a simple issue.
Well said, I agree with most of your comment except for SOC which IMO deserved nothing
I’m Mexican. So yes, I know, I see every year how Latinos are being neglected and victims of racism in every industry. And how in the bigger picture nobody gives a damn about it.
And if you read carefully what I posted, you’ll see I’m not criticizing black actors, I’m criticizing the fact that some people are using the term “diversity” to comment on solely black issues. And if it bothers me it is because I actually believe in the unity of these causes, not in the benefit of certain groups. I’m sorry if my comment came different, English is not my first language.
Agree. Money at the box office, viewership on the TV, clicks on the web – they all talk and tell producers and directors what you want.
Movies in the US is a business.
People went and spent how much on the opening weekend of 50 Shades ? 75 million?
And now we get 2 sequels. See how that works.
It’s not for Chris Rock to fix this state of affairs. Maybe it’s just time for a consensus that the Oscars aren’t interesting or relavant, until they actually become that.
He actually can withdraw himself from hosting but then again, he has a contract and gets paid millions to host. He can’t back out either way without facing some backlash.
Eh he can actually. Eddie did so and that was that.
He can certainly withdraw, but his appearance, or cancellation of, or commentary is no going to fix anything. and it’s pretty unfair to make him the locus of possible actions.
How is making jokes and trying to make all the “white actors” feel uncomfortable a solution to the problem!? It sounds like everyone here is just part of the problem.. trying to solve racism with racism!? ..maybe all the “white actors” had better performances? Why make deserving people feel guilty for there accomplishments!? Make your presence felt instead of boycotting and being a part of the issue!
Exactly. I said the same above. This is so childish.
How is making jokes about white people solves anything? It is not like we have a choice of skin colors. It is the same as making jokes about ugly people etc.
Boycotting the Oscars is a great way to get blacklisted (no pun intended) in Hollywood. My suggestion is for people like Jada and Spike to form their own production companies, find great stories and roles for black actors. Take ACTION instead of whining. Will Smith did not deserve a nod, but Michael Jordan certainly did.
Both Spike & the Smiths have production companies and have produced movies. The Smiths were involved with Selma and produce many TV programs. Spike started his own production company so he could make the movies he’s interested in being filmed. And while they are rich, they don’t have that kind of money to make big budget films the likes of which the Academy deigns to watch.
The Smith were not involved with Selma, they produced “Annie” last year.
40 acres and a mule is Spike Lee’s production company. He started it over 20 years ago.
“Take ACTION instead of whining.”
That’s great advice for two men who have long standing studios that are decades+ old. Maybe you should know what you’re talking about before commenting? Also really good advice.
Aside from the fact that you are wrong about the Smith’s, why should actors have to be producers to get work? Maybe if you are an actor you wouldn’t be that good at producing. I just think it is unfair to think that the only way a group of people are going to work is if they create it themselves. Yes a lot of them should, but we still need the ones who break through the corporate world too.
I am so over the Oscars. I was fed up after they snubbed David Oyelowo last year, and now I’m just done. An out-of-touch, self-congratulatory, pointless awards show doling out trophies at the whim of a sector of the entertainment biz that is rendering itself progressively more irrelevant relative to television.They’re almost not even worth the trouble of boycotting, but I do think prior years’ winners should refuse to attend. It’s a travesty at this point.
Rock was hired to do a job he should do it.
And he will. He is a pro.
I think Chris Rock needs to do something shocking to really bring attention to what’s going on. When introduced, he should have a guy in blackface come out and do jokes as him. Eventually Rock will come out and make the point about how the Academy should have no problem with it because they give all the spots to whites anyway.
What does anyone think Jada Pinkett-Smith would be doing if her husband HAD been nominated?Even if he were the only non-white person nominated, do you still think she’d be boycotting the Oscars?
She would be on the phone with her stylist
Exactly! +1000. Jada would have never said one word if will had been nominated. Now that’s hipocracy. I’m sure we’ll get a reply now that starts with “sigh”……
The Oscars are achievement awards for excellence in the film industry. There is no room for affirmative action or tokenism in these sorts of proceedings.
The root of the problem does not lie with the Academy, it lies with the industry itself. If minorities were writing, producing and acting in “oscar-worthy” vehicles they would doubtlessly be recognized for their work. The fact that people of color are under-represented in the Oscars is a reflection of their under-representation in the industry, not of racism, disrespect or indifference on the part of members of the Academy.
Don’t make the Oscars a scapegoat for a problem that has nothing to do with them!
THIS. you said it perfectly.
@thistle. Best comment today. You pinpointed and made your case. Bravo!
THANK YOU! +100000000
“The root of the problem does not lie with the Academy, it lies with the industry itself.”
It’s clear that you know nothing about the “industry.” If you did, you would know that The Academy IS the industry! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is made up of actors, writers, directors, casting agents, talent agents, film producers, designers, and other executives. Together, the Academy makes up the body of industry professionals that develops films–AND also sponsors new academy members. This diversity problem has EVERYTHING to do with them.
So you see no problem with the Academy nominating only the white participants in films about black issues – e.g. this year, Stallone for Creed, the white writers of Straight Outta Compton, the white director of What Happened Miss Simone?
And you feel the fact that the Academy is 93% white has no bearing on what kind of performances they nominate and/or reward?
I can’t agree that there are no BME actors or producers making Oscar-worthy material – Creed, Beasts of No Nation, Selma, Concussion, Straight Outta Compton. There are five movies right there which received excellent-to-good critical acclaim and box office receipts.
This is such a circular argument, too – fewer ‘black’ projects (either helmed by black directors or about ‘black stories/issues’) are greenlit or supported because it’s unlikely they’ll win big awards or even be nominated for them. Ergo, fewer projects are made, awards buzz dwindles even further, etc. etc. Spike Lee couldn’t have made Malcolm X if a lot of prominent black celebrities hadn’t stepped in to fund the project.
I also think there is a huge problem with the fact that the Academy seems only happy to give awards to films/actors which focus on black people in a subservient role, either as literal slaves in 12 Years a Slave or as maids in the Help. When there’s a film with a strong, leading black figure – like Selma, for instance – suddenly the awards dry up, except for the white contributors.
The black director Charles Dutton talks about how historical biopics of white figures are consistently made and rewarded (in the past few years alone; Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Lincoln, George IV, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Zuckerburg, Julian Assange, Chris Kyle, Steve Jobs, etc.) but that when black artists approach studios about a biopic about prominent black figures, they are told they’ve ‘had their movie – come back in 20 years’.
“The Oscars are achievement awards for excellence in the film industry. There is no room for affirmative action or tokenism in these sorts of proceedings”
Excellence in the film industry? Then why do critically acclaimed non English speaking films get relegated to the Best Foriegn Language category while some English speaking films, that have no chance of winning the Best Picture award, receive Best Picture nominations?
Plenty of Foreign Language films have been nominated for Best Picture. Off the top of my head: Amour, Letters from Iwo Jima, Life Is Beautiful, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Grand Illusion, and I’m sure there are much more.
I think you can add Slum Dog Millionaire to that list. That was a good movie.
@Alicia: A small percentage of foreign language films have been nominated, which in itself highlights the absurdity of the Academy. Do you honestly think foreign language films worthy of being nominated in the Best Picture category only come along every couple of years? Since the Academy expanded the list of nominations for Best Picture in 2009 they’ve snubbed Palme d’Or winners in favor of English language films that were just nominated to make up the numbers.
I am not saying there is not a problem with diversity in Hollywood but Will Smith did not deserve an academy award nomination for Concussion. I saw all of the nominated films and the only thing I would have done differently is nominate Christian Bale for best lead actor and Steve Carrel for best supporting actor. They were both phenomenal! So was Leo Dicaprio.
He is more powerful on the inside, on the stage, because you know he will speak the truth about this issue.
The snubbing of Selma last year was pretty bad and the all white all the time sweep this year is just icing on the cake.
Don’t forget a few mexicans.
and how many female directors were nominated? Hollyweird is about white males. but the world does not turn around that place… Spike Lee did take his award. At this point, it would be better if he went. As for Mrs Smith, I only know her as the wife of Will Smith. Not really influential.
Chris is in between a rock and a hard place and I just don’t have the perfect answer for what he should do. I do know I’ve long since been tired of these awards shows (they’ve reeked of a white’s only congratulatory party for a long time) and mostly in recent years seeing a large influx of black talent and black stories get snubbed has only reignited my distaste.
I won’t be watching any of it. I’m sure the clips and recaps will be everywhere.
I think Chris Rock should host as planned. Why should all the other people nominated be punished? It’s not their fault. The lack of diversity starts with those who do the casting, those who hire the directors/producers, etc. The big production companies like Sony are the ones to blame. Chris Rock boycotting won’t do a thing. It might even ruin his career. A career he has spent decades building. It’s better he go up on that stage and demand attention…demand people hear him. Be witty, charming, funny, but also intelligent and thought provoking. He can do it !
I feel like it’s easy for those of us who don’t work in the industry to say “the problem isn’t within the Oscars but the lack of roles/POC stories/casting” but the fact is that there are many POC who work hard to create content and get their stories out there but still don’t manage to get funding. If you look around that are so many people who rely on crowfunding to get their creations out there. Even famous people like Don Cheadle. I mean look at Chris Rock, who’s a successful comedian and still had difficulties getting his movie financed. That’s why people say that the future is now on TV and cable because there, POC creators actually get to show their creations; at the top of my head I have Master of None, Jane Got a Virgin and the whole Shondaland.
I could be wrong but as an outsider I think the true issue is that the US society is very segregated compared to others. Blacks live with blacks, Hispanics with Hispanics, White and Asians with White and Asians. There is not enough cross over or understanding of each other cultures or issues.
Everyone is separate and this is what we are seeing in entertainment as well – entertainment for White, entertainment for Blacks and Hispanics just watch Telemundo , Indians watch Bollywood etc.
Again, it might be my own problem, but I don’t understand Black entertainment at all. Every time I attempted to watch it on TV I didn’t even understand what they are on about. I didn’t like it and there my “viewership” went.
Producers and directors will produce product that they understand and that is in demand. In a majority white country if white people don’t understand Black entertainment, it is not going to sell.
I don’t know how to fix it other than talking to each other and understanding each other cultures and interests. But attacking and mocking white people (as some propose Chris Rock do) is surely not an answer.
What does black entertainment mean to you? Are you including Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy? Both created by Shonda Rimes, a black woman, and both have been major mainstream hits.
“What does black entertainment mean to you? ”
These were shows with only black actors in them and I think the channels had something in the name that designated them as such. To me it meant their target audience was black.
Grey’s Anatomy is mainstream, though I don’t care for it. Don’t know what Scandal is.
He shouldn’t pull out. He needs to be seen during the show, so that he will be a constant reminder to the viewers that there’s an issue with the racial makeup of the Academy’s voting base.
Sorry, but Jada Pinkett Smith has absolutely nothing to lose by ‘boycotting’ the awards. Chris Rock may have monetary penalties and reputation damage to consider.
I’m wasn’t surprised at any of the acting nominations, they’re a mix of proven or outstanding newcomer/s. But at the same time surprised at no POC nominations. I didn’t hear any buzz about Will Smith at all so that’s not a surprise but Creed garnered critically and fan credibility. As did Straight Outta Compton. The galling thing with those movies is the white contributors were recognized. THAT more than the all white actors noms is the thorn in the foot for me. How insulting is that? It should be Sylvester Stallone and the screenwriters for SOC boycotting the event though that’s a massive call maybe too much to ask.
Despite set curriculums and professional reviewers and critics, this is an artful medium and so will always be subjective. It will be hard to introduce any kind of quota system. Lack of transparency and secrecy (while a fun piece for the auditors and their briefcases of envelopes) is probably the thing that needs to be tackled.
IF he is under contract, he cannot pull out. To me, going back on your word and breaking a contract is worse than appearing. Having said that, he should go in hard on the voting board. Having said that – ALL awards are b.s. and NOBODY should define their ability by an award.
And as far as Jada / Will and their being ‘outspoken’; had Will been nominated, we would hear a peep. What have Will / Jada done to promote, uplift and finance any black project with black actors.
Their ‘money’ position makes them part of the 1%. So, really they have zero expression to offer that will make me back them. Plus, go pick up your kids and teach them something important rather than Co$ teachings.
There is a lack of diversity within the entire entertainment industry. How many people from the Asian community are represented? Or the Latin community? I mean it’s ridiculous. The whole system is flawed and f**ked and I won’t be watching this year or any year until I start seeing a change.
Yes it’s a lack of poc in general. TV is getting A LOT better though. So many good shows that have diverse casts. Why isn’t the movie industry following what people really want to watch?
Interesting statistics: There are just over 6000 Academy voters. 94% white. 77% male. Average age: 63.
Same statistics that make up corporate America.
This is from the last year but change cannot happen overnight.
“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
How interesting that they don’t define that “healthy number.” How interesting that the Academy hasn’t even TRIED to keep pace with the changing demographics of movie going audiences. How interesting that it took last year’s uproar for them to even attempt to make changes.
It is never going to be good enough for you. The unrelenting negativity achieves nothing.
No, the racist and sexist status quo is never going to be good enough for me.
ETA: “Unrelenting negativity,” as you put it, is what triggered the meager changes you’re holding up as some sort of victory.
Three of those people are automatic invitees because they were nominees. While I applaud adding a Korean director, it will have little impact on the acting categories; he can only vote for director nominees.
I think the Academy President is trying, but it’s a huge uphill battle, and I bet she’s meeting some resistance from old stalwarts who like things the way they are. I appreciate her efforts, and I wish her much success, because I do think it’s very important to her.
All nominees are immediately invited as members of the Academy and they are put on the nomination list. Some of the names you listed above are first time nominees last year. They are only allowed to nominate a certain amount of new members each year including the nominees, generally you have to be in the industry for a while to get invited if you did not get a nomination. In some categories that might put you pretty old, i.e. director so someone like Ryan Coogler director for Creed would also have an age issue going with him. The director part of the academy has to be so old male white. I bet Spike Lee and John Singleton may be the only ones in the Academy director’s branch who are African American.
This is where the Academy can change it, nominate a lot more young people in the industry. Put Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordon, Idris Elba and others up for membership. Instead of 322 new members, have a new class of young filmmakers and have 600, change the whole dimension and make it easier for women, and minorities to join the Academy.
What are the demographics for the acting categories? Only actors vote to nominate actors and any actress who has been nominated is eligible as a voting member
The first set of acting members you know are the ones nominated and still alive so definitely very white and the others are people invited in to join. To be invited you usually have to work in the industry for a while so go with old. My understanding is you vote in your designated category and then everyone votes for best picture. Now I am more familiar with the Emmy process of nominations than the Academy, but I know that it isn’t just an open sheet nominate who you want or any of these who entered their performance, because logically that would be a book, although they may have a blank for a write in not sure. Somehow the list is whittled down to send to the members then it is voted for nomination, and my guess is this could also be one way to get a better diverse representation. The Emmys does this with a committee, but not sure about the Academy.
Old white men: that explains the love for Jennifer Lawrence once again.
Combatting racism is complicated and needs a top-down and bottom-up approach. As for me, I prefer improving my own space — meaning I’m more concerned about the minority youth in my area than Hollywood’s good ol’ boys. I want to make sure local children have access to food, knowledge and love. That they have confidence and encouragement to pursue their dreams. That they know science and the arts are equally acceptable occupations for any gender or color. And while I think Hollywood should contemplate a boycott or other form of protest, I think my time and energy would be better spent donating to a good cause or mentoring at an at-risk student.
I’m not saying a little social media and gossip is evil, but there’s a point when we’re so busy making noise that we don’t have time to make a difference.
Can I be real here? I grew up white in an affluent, all-white suburb in the Midwest. I heard racist remarks here and there, but my parents raised me to be open-minded, accepting and treat everyone equally. My neighborhood was filled with pseudo-intellectuals (and former hippies), so things felt very progressive. I never doubted that anyone could do anything.
Now, I’m in my 30’s, living in a big city in a diverse neighborhood. I have friends from many different cultures and backgrounds, and yet, all of my closest friends are still white. I’ve never dated a minority. I don’t watch or even get the appeal of a Tyler Perry movie. Sure, I like Scandal and HTGAWM, but I have zero interest in Spike Lee’s films. (But I’ll see any Keira Knightley period piece.) And if I’m being totally honest, I do find myself more suspicious of a sketchy black man on the street than a sketchy white one — although you better believe I’m crossing the street for either.
I know I’m part of the bigger problem. I’m not watching minority films or openly supporting minority communities. I can tell myself I don’t care about the color of someone’s skin — and I swear it feels true — but I’m racist, aren’t I? Or am I just prone to appreciating arts that reflect my upbringing? Help!
I actually appreciate your honestly. If others would just do the same, we might actually get somewhere.
I don’t think you are racist, but you are prone to only appreciating things that reflect your upbringing –and how you feel about that plays in the larger picture of racism (and the need for people who come from different backgrounds to be acknowledged – like the Oscars).
Either the request for recognition from those different from you is important to you or is not, and is something only you can do anything about changing, provided you feel you want to. No, you don’t have to feel shame for loving Keira Knightly period pieces, but it’s more affecting if all your closest people in your life are cut from only one cloth. You may never know what that life is like for someone different than you, and therefore, cannot be part of any true, sustainable change even though your position of privilege puts you in the most powerful place to do so. Reach out. Try a minority movie, for a start. It will put you ahead of the Academy and be something that doesn’t reflect your upbringing. At the end of the day, these are human stories, not race stories.
how exactly are you a part of the problem? People tend to be around others that are like themselves, it doesn’t mean you are a racist. If you’re not treating POC rudely or hatefully because of their race, you’re not racist and just because you have never dated a black man doesn’t mean you are racist. Stop apologizing for being white, IT’S OK TO BE WHITE – IT’S WHO YOU ARE! What matters is what is in your heart. If you want to see more movies intended for black audiences, by all means, what’s stopping you?! I get so upset about this white-bashing nonsense as it is no different than bashing someone else for their skin color. Enough putting ourselves into different colored categories, already!!! There is only one race on this earth and that is the HUMAN race.
I’m Indian and I love my culture, my food, my ethnic clothing, my language. I grew up with friends of different ethnicities. I watch all sorts of movies and tv shows. But to be honest, if I ever get married, it will be to an Indian. Someone I can speak my own language to, someone who grew up with the same cultural values as me. That doesn’t make me racist. I would never be upset if someone chose to marry someone of another ethnicity than them. That’s their choice to make and it’s ok. If you’re white and only date white people, that does NOT make you a racist. If you go around making racial slurs, or hate an entire group of people just based on their skin color, then yes you’re racist. Don’t apologize for how you grew up. Nothing wrong with anything you said, except the part about being more afraid of a Black man than a White man. I don’t agree with that.
@J-Who, only one race in this country would say something like this:
“There is only one race on this earth and that is the HUMAN race.”
I’m white, I’m 54, I grew up around racists, my brother is racist, my husband’s whole family is racist. I live and teach in a 99.9% white community, most of whom would never think they are racists. I recommend you read the excellent essay, “Unpacking the invisible knapsack of white privilege” by Peggy McIntosh. Although if you want to have your eyes opened, you might skip it.
This is insane. I commented on it before – white people having to prove they are not racist.
Muriel, you are not racist. Just like as not liking Latin music or not watching Telemundo or not not dating Hispanic men doesn’t make you racist.
To me this line of thinking is very similar to the concept of the original sin in Christianity – you are a sinner just because you exist and you have to atone for the rest of your life. This is something I would never accept. We can’t be guilty of things just for the fact of our existence.We can’t be presumed racist just because we are not oppressed. This really messes with people’s understanding of selves. But sure certain groups would love to make us believe that we are guilty because it gives them power to control us.
I agree. I don’t think anyone has to prove they aren’t racist when they aren’t committing racist acts or espousing racist comments, or dismissing outright the experiences or work of people of other ethnicites. This “guilt by association” is nonsense like the phrase above “only a white person would say that”.
He should show up, sit down on a chair in the middle of the stage and not say a word. Accoring the the academy he isn’t relevant anyway as he isn’t white.
if he wasn’t relevant, he wouldn’t have been asked to host the show.
Also perhaps it is down to the white actors who the acadamy actually give a damn about to boycott the awards. Why shouldn’t they be outraged too?!
Thank you, charlotte. I haven’t read through all the comments but that was my instinctive reaction to this ‘dilemma’.
The good solution, if there can be a good solution here, is that all those who are genuinely f*cked off by this tired failure to reward black talent, get directly behind Chris Rock’s dilemma and let him know that they are, and will be, 100% by his side on Oscar night, then it could be such a night to remember.
I’m crossing fingers that they will. Or that, at least, a good solid representative of them will.
Why is this only about Black talent though? There is plenty of Asian, Hispanic talent as well. I thought this was about all poc being left out?
@Word – sorry, I meant my post to be inclusive of all those who are ‘sidelined’.
Television, cable and Netflix, Amazon, etc. seem to be far more “progressive” and diverse than film AND include strong roles for women. Case(s) in point: How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, Empire, Orange is the New Black, Master of None, etc. Budgets are smaller and people are free to be more creative – and inclusive.
A society should not be segregated in any way – whether it’s to keep people out or fence them in. And putting down one race, gender or creed does not elevate another. That just creates factions and denigrates everyone.
Boy, Chris Rock walked right into this Oscar trap. The Academy knew it what it was another #Oscarsowhite year so they booked Chris Rock in a sad attempt to salvage its racist process of of selecting nominations. No slaves, no black maids, no nominations.
Ryan Coogler should be nominated for an Oscar as Director. At only 29 years old, he’s directed two critically acclaimed and award winning films. For Creed, Coogler won the “New Generation Award” from the LA Film Critics Association.
Abraham Attah should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Beast of No Nation.
Idris Elba should have been nominated for Best Actor for Beast of No Nation.
Spike Lee should be nominated as Best Director (again) for ChiRaq.
Great black actresses who have NEVER an Oscar:
Cicely Tyson (f/k/a as a crime – she’s a legend)
Angela Basset (classically trained actress – 1 nomination – MFA Yale Drama)
Sanaa Lathan (Yale Drama grad – no nominations)
And there’s more but I’ve too angry to continue.
It’s not fair to assume they only hired Chris Rock because he’s Black. He is very talented, funny, knows current Hollywood and social media trends. He was a good choice period. I know he’s going to kill it !
I never stated the Academy ONLY hired Chris Rock because he’s black. His talent is another huge factor in their decision. Only Rock can fix this mess. Rock knows what I’m saying is true. Listen out for a joke about being “coincidently” being chosen to be the black host of an #Oscarsowhite year. Selecting Rock was a great idea for a lot of reasons. I think the anticipation for the Oscars is the highest it has been in years.
Viola Davis. 2 nominations, no wins, but I think sooner or later she’ll get one. She already has an Emmy and some Tonys, so we need her to write a memoir, read the audiobook, and get a Grammy so she can EGOT!
Alfre Woodard never one either, and only has 1 nomination. She’s mostly doing TV these days, but she’s a great actress.
It’s ridiculous that Angela Bassett hasn’t ever won. She’s extraordinary in everything she does.
Jada was ok with the system when she was making money from it, and so was her husband. Now all of a sudden she decides to use her voice? Do more than that Jada. You and your husband own a production company for God’s sake and the only big contribution from it was the remake of Annie (which flopped). You can do better…so much talent…so many connections…get it going !
Janet Huber has called her out on that.
Haha the mom from Fresh Prince of Bel Air !
I don’t understand why they want to make a statement to The Oscar Committee instead of making a statement within the system and ask that more films for POC that aren’t all hood films or ghetto related. Maybe if these movies that most of the black actors act in were were of more substance instead of being mostly made into foolish movies or targeted to the teen demographics. It sounds like Jada is angry because POC aren’t getting Oscars based on their color. Should POC get an Oscar nomination simply because of their color and that they were in a movie? Or should POC start demanding people like Spike Lee to take his message elsewhere and make movies that are actually GOOD instead of white-bashing, hate-filled movies that do more to divide than to unite? Whatever happened to the good stuff like The Color Purple? The Help? Lean on Me? Glory? Hotel Rwanda? Stuff like that where the story lines were actually of real people and not a bunch of pot heads and gangsters? Tyler Perry is a great example of good stories except that the people chosen for the roles cannot act very well. The problem isn’t with the nominations committee, the problem is with the black writers and the producers who want to put out stereotypical crap instead of meaningful stories. There’s too much talent out there being wasted JMO
I think it’s very notable that you only mention ‘good’ movies about black people and black stories which were mainly helmed by white people. Lean on Me was directed and written by white men; Hotel Rwanda was directed and written by white men; The Colour Purple was directed by a white man; The Help was directed by a white woman (whoo, diversity!); Glory was directed and written by white men.
In contrast, when black people tell their own stories, the Academy seems to turn its head. Steve McQueen did not win the Oscar for Best Director, even though 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture; Ava DuVernay wasn’t even nominated for Selma, even though it similarly earned a Best Picture nomination. John Singleton came out last year and said that studios will make movies about black stories, but want white directors and writers to control them.
I can’t understand why you think subjects like MLK are ‘foolish’ or chasing a ‘teen demographic’ (teenagers can still appreciate good film, thank you very much). You’re being facetious to say that all the movies people feel have been snubbed this year are just about ‘pot heads and gangsters’; if you dislike Straight Outta Compton, just come out and say it. It doesn’t make Selma or Creed about drug addicts or gangsters. But I must say, I don’t see you (or anyone else) complaining that Oscar-nominated films such as The Wolf of Wall Street are also, essentially, about drug addicts and gangsters. Breaking Bad was literally about drug runners and addicts, and yet people raved over it.
I did see people complain about The Wolf of Wall Street some, though not nearly as much as I think it deserved. It disgusted me, not because it was about drugs and crime, which are perfectly acceptable film subjects. But because it romanticized a man who ruined people’s lives purely for greed. I’m no anti-drug moralist, but I will get on my high horse when a movie makes being an evil sociopathic conman look aspirational.
(Sorry, I think I hijacked a bit there. I just hate that movie so much. I’m looking up stuff on the internet about it now, and apparently audiences disliked it significantly more than critics did, which makes me happy.)
“…the Academy seems to turn its head. Steve McQueen did not win the Oscar for Best Director, even though 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture…”
He lost to a Mexican.
McQueen did indeed lose ‘to a Mexican’. He has a name – Alfonso Cuarón.
It still doesn’t change the fact that McQueen was the third black director to be even nominated for an Oscar, and the only black director to date whose film won Best Picture.
You can quibble a specific year all you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that black film-makers & storytellers are systematically not recognised by the Academy, whilst the ten-a-penny producers of white historical biopics (in the past decade alone; Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Lincoln, George IV, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Zuckerburg, Julian Assange, Chris Kyle, Steve Jobs, etc.) are consistently recognised & rewarded.
Good writing and great acting have a lot to do with it, too. I never claimed subjects like Dr. King to be foolish and never said that. I was talking about movies like Friday and Next Friday and other “comedies” that are targeted toward the younger audience and stereotyping themselves.
props to Thistle, above (comment #54). ITA
At the risk of sticking my foot in it, what African American films/actors/directors… were overlooked this year in favor of Caucasians? I have not yet seen the list of nominees, but, are there some eligible African American candidates who were snubbed in the nominations this year? Or, are people just crying foul that there aren’t even eligible candidates in tge pool to select nominees from?
And, yes, I think Chris Rock should use his platform responsibly. He would be doing a disservice to back out.
Jada Pinkett Smith’s presence will not be missed, imho. In fact, I prefer her non-participation because she is a marginal talent with an oversized sense of self-importance. Pfft.
Mya Taylor in Tangerine. Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight. Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation.
Ryan Coogler for Creed. Michael B Jordan in the past for Fruitvale Station and now Creed. Abraham Abah for Beast of No Nation ( who did receive a critic award but had to share it with Jacob T from Room)
I agree with your list.
Tessa Thompson for Creed.
Cary Fukunaga the director of Beasts of No Nation is asian- american.
The solution to the whiteness of the Oscars is not to make the ceremony even more white than it already is. This is Chris Rock, he’s not going to just go along and smile about it when he’s onstage. He’ll have a huge platform to say what needs to be said this way. Just backing out and being replaced by a (white, I’m sure) comedian would play right into the hands of people who got us into this mess in the first place.
It is clear that whoever hosts the Oscars is given a list of TO-DO stuff so as long as Chris Rock is doing what he is TOLD TO DO he is save. I love him and he WILL do what is good for him!!!
I think he should not back out and instead blackout, let them have it with both barrells! Might actually be intresting to watch the Oscars for a change.
Chris comes out, “Pardon me for a second,” He reaches into his coat for a pair of sunglasses. and then puts them on. “Ah much better, sorry but the room is just too white right now”. Bam! LOL!
I’ve been posting and following these posts and realized how petty and ridiculous it’s getting. It makes me sad.
The bigger picture is that POC do not have the same opportunities as white people and therefore are underepresented in the industry at all levels, including award shows.
It’s not an attack on white people, no one saying that there should be a quota but there is a major flaw in the system and should be corrected.
Can we please stop with naming previous POC nominations and winners. As someone pointed out in another post POC doesn’t only mean blacks it means all minorities.
I will forever love Star Wars the force awakens, due to its diverse cast, everyone was equally good and most importantly the leads were a woman and a black man. It’s doable, it needs to change.
Good point about Star Wars, as that casting was what casting should be color and gender blind. I do think that a lot of films all you have to do is hire the best actor and not worry so much about the look and you might have a better picture. Granted some films you may need a certain look, but a lot less than people think.
If Chris Rock pulls out then the Academy can just conveniently forget to take a more diverse approach in their judgement.
If Chris Rock stays in then he can give the Academy a verbal lashing they will remember for years to come and hopefully they won’t risk such a lashing again but become more diverse.
And of cours if Chris Rock stays in then the whole world will know about the Academy’s lack of recognition for non-whites.
I think Chris will send a more powerful message by going and hosting the Oscars, instead of boycotting. Anyway, I would really LOVE if any of the winning actors would address this matter.. let’s wait and see who’ll do it.
Rock and hard place.
I have faith that Chris Rock will not disappoint and will use the platform he is given for good.
Aside: saw him live a few years ago and he was talking about the street he lives on. How the few black people on it are very, very, very famous and uber successful in their fields (He name checked Dr. Dre and a few others). Whereas the white guy living next door to him is a dentist. I feel like this type of mentality is being applied by those who nominate Oscar candidates. Like a POC has to give such an over the top outstanding performance (looking at you Lupita) that one CANNOT ignore it. Whereas a white actor will give a pretty average performance (looking at you J.Law) and gets nominated again and again and again.
He’s a black man hosting the Academy Awards! His people should be ecstatic!