The internet is reacting.
First it was the weirdness of the Golden Globes: Lady Gaga wins Best Actress in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for American Horror Story over Queen Latifah’s much more challenging, emotional role as Bessie Smith in Bessie? It made as much sense as Matt Damon winning Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for The Martian.
But the Globes weirdness is nothing compared to this year’s Academy Awards nominations. The Oscar nominations announced today show an egregious lack of diversity, with exactly zero nonwhite actors in any of the 20 slots of the four acting categories. For the second year in a row.
The internet is reacting. Last year’s Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite has been reborn, as well as the follow-up #OscarsStillSoWhite.
Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker is commenting on Twitter how the growing chasm between TV and movies in terms of race has widened exponentially over the past few years.
Dodai Stewart at Fusion also observes how TV has become the home for a wide range of characters. “While the movie industry is churning out #OscarsSoWhite projects, it’s on TV that women like Kerry Washington (Scandal), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder), Tracee Ross (Black-ish), and Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black) find meaty roles. It’s on TV that Latinas—Gina Rodriguez in Jane the Virgin, Jennifer Lopez in Shades of Blue, Eva Longoria in Telenovela—get a chance to shine.”
Oddly enough, the Academy has made a concerted effort to diversify over the past few years. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has announced A2020, a five-year initiative to encourage opportunities for women and minorities in the industry. Among the 322 new members invited to join the Academy in 2015 were Selma star David Oyelowo and Straight Out of Compton director F. Gary Gray. To top it all off, Chris Rock will make his second appearance as emcee of the Oscar broadcast on February 28. At the very least, the lack of diversity in Oscar nominations will give Rock a lot of material to work with as host. Expect some funny but pointed commentary.