So who’s really to blame for the Oscars being “so white” again?

posted at 1:21 pm on January 19, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

This story is a bit far afield from our normal political discussions, but it ties heavily into the entire Social Justice Warrior theme and seems like a very sticky question for the Great Liberal Motherland of Hollywood to wrestle to the ground. The Oscar nominations were announced recently and yet again the awards will be going to pretty much all white actors, writers and directors. As you can imagine, this has left some folks rather unhappy, and a couple of high profile figures will be boycotting the ceremony as a result. (Time)

Chi-raq director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith say they will not attend this year’s Academy Awards after no black actors were nominated.

“How is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the acting category are white?” Lee wrote on Instagram on Monday. “And let’s not even get into the other branches. Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all. We can’t act?! WTF!!”

In a video post on Facebook, Jada Pinkett Smith said, “Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?”

The President of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs (who happens to be black herself) said she was heartbroken. (Washington Post)

I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.

Not everyone agreed with the assessment, though. I wanted to point out one dissenting opinion which came from Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” She was responding to the news that her former co-star (Smith) and his wife would not attend.

“I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living, made their living and made millions and millions of dollars from the very people you’re talking about boycotting just because you didn’t get a nomination, just because you didn’t win,” Hubert said. “That is not the way life works, baby.” She added: “You ain’t Barack and Michelle Obama.”

So there are two questions to answer here. First, is this a real problem or a manufactured one? And second, assuming it is a problem, who is at fault?

For the first, we get to a point which is often debated in politics when racial balancing acts are brought up. How should the Oscar nominations be determined? They are either promoting the best films to be placed in contention for the awards or they need to insert some sort of demographic allocation system such as we have in college admissions. If the Oscar nomination process is supposedly “color blind” then this wouldn’t be a question unless the people making the decisions are racists, right? And if that’s your conclusion, then it looks like you’ll have to inject some sort of big government style set-aside mandate into the process. And yet we have to ask if the academy is simply nominating the films that they thought were the best. If so, are directors and producers just not hiring enough black actors for the top roles? Who makes those decisions?

But who is at fault if that’s the case? I know… I know… there’s probably some way that somebody will figure out how to blame the NRA for this, but that’s going to be a stretch even for liberals. The final decision as to who gets nominated is made through the votes of the thousands of members of the academy. We’re not talking about a particularly conservative group here, to say the least. But even with new invitations to more minorities, the academy remains 93% white and 74% male. So are they just a bunch or racists and sexists? That doesn’t sound right because they’re a bunch of liberals. How could they be racists?

Of course, we already saw that Hollywood executives pay female actors far less than their male counterparts. That would be sexism if a conservative Republican were doing it, but in Hollywood I guess it’s all just business. This is all so confusing, isn’t it?

SpikeLee


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Comment pages: 1 2

And here are the five nominees for Best Picture at the BET Awards 2015.

Not one nomination for white people. Just like last year!

I’m telling you the BET awards, network, what have you, is not what this country looks like.

papertiger on January 19, 2016 at 5:28 PM

papertiger on January 19, 2016 at 5:28 PM

Imagine, if you will, the WET network, with no minorities at all on it?

Andy__B on January 19, 2016 at 5:39 PM

Obviously Hollywood needs some affirmative action. Probably even quotas. A certain number of each underserved community must be nominated and must win. Disparate impact is proof of injustice.

MJBrutus on January 19, 2016 at 5:50 PM

Imagine, if you will, the WET network, with no minorities at all on it?

Andy__B on January 19, 2016 at 5:39 PM

Sounds like an “adult” channel……

dentarthurdent on January 19, 2016 at 5:59 PM

I’ll use my white privilege and blame whitey.

Oxymoron on January 19, 2016 at 6:23 PM

Much like Hollywood, we need more diversity in the NBA. I propose an Asian 3 point line half the distance to the hoop and a Caucasian line two thirds of the way out to compensate for broad-based physical inequalities. Further, we must ensure the future viability of the game by adjusting player makeup to align with the percentages of population. Those people of color that don’t represent a minority within the NBA and must be released will be welcome in universities and…well, every other opportunity under the control of the government with the usual unearned benefits.

Pistonhead on January 19, 2016 at 6:27 PM

I would call it “hollywood values” but I’m sure I’d be excommunicated for it.

Von Kleist on January 19, 2016 at 6:30 PM

African nations are threatening to halt the sale of infants to rich white Hollywood celebrity’s over the Oscar Snub.

IXXINY on January 19, 2016 at 6:37 PM

Hollywood is mostly a group of white liberals….talk to them about any issues…conservatives have very little influence. Matt damon and goerge cloony make sucky movies that no one watches and they get millions, go ask them direct and unapologetic questions and demand answers. Otherwise i dont much give a crap what goes on in hollywood. Liberals giving liberals awards for being liberal.

jaywemm on January 19, 2016 at 7:07 PM

Wow. The same AFAction that enabled us to get this far. What could go wrong?

RL on January 19, 2016 at 8:46 PM

….…rap legend Snoop Dogg has taken to Instagram to air out his grievances with the Academy Awards.

“Somebody was actually like am I gonna watch the motherf**king Oscars. F**k no,” he said about the annual ceremony in a video clip.

Foul mouthed jackass ought to get an award for “Weakest Intellect, Most Limited Vocab”.

RL on January 19, 2016 at 8:51 PM

Janet Hubert is wrong about Obama — he won without any accomplishment. Affirmative action at its worst.

bluesman on January 19, 2016 at 9:15 PM

I blame the Koch brothers.

n0doz on January 19, 2016 at 9:23 PM

Gee. People that slur their speach and utter profanities didn’the win. Go figure.

Deadeye on January 19, 2016 at 10:41 PM

QOTT – and I didn’t watch any of the movies or the Oscar show.

Yes, a clear message needs to be sent that just representing a certain percentage in the population doesn’t mean one is guaranteed to win a certain percentage of awards. Awards mean more when earned as opposed to granted because of ‘fairness’.

But there’s also a message being sent as to whom really holds minority communities in contempt and seek to keep them as perpetual victims.

Athos on January 19, 2016 at 2:19 PM

You know how the Academy periodically hands out “Lifetime Achievement” Oscars? This is for basically being a fantastic actor/actress who has been screwed over for the Oscar for years and now they are old. How about they have an “Outstanding Achievement While Black” Oscar? If ANYONE has the nerve to think that the members of the Academy, no matter what the racial makeup, are anything other than raging liberals, then they are certifiable. It is laughable that these idiots think there is any racial component for the lack of blacks in these categories this year. This is supposed to be an award for ACHIEVEMENT not a trophy for participation. You know what, from now on everyone will wonder did that black actor, actress, director, etc…actually win the thing or was it affirmative action? Good job racists, good job.

neyney on January 19, 2016 at 4:51 PM

who’s really to blame for the Oscars being “so white” again?

Considering the motion picture industry is liberal owned, directed and controlled, lack of of any black quality movies comes to mind. Did you watch ‘Outta Compton? Bad songs, incredible violence, filled with blame projection and more bad language than an Augusta, Ga. bar bathroom.

MaiDee on January 19, 2016 at 4:09 PM

I would call it “hollywood values” but I’m sure I’d be excommunicated for it.

Von Kleist on January 19, 2016 at 6:30 PM

We are to judge Oscar nominees by the color of their skin not the quality of their performance.

Happy Nomad on January 19, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Actually I think the problem they have is that the nominations apparently aren’t colorblind because deserving black actors, directors, and writers from this year of movies didn’t get any nominations. Same as last year.

proverbs427 on January 19, 2016 at 3:48 PM

Or perhaps the voters just didn’t think they were “deserving”.
What percentage of “deserving” should be based on their skin color?

dentarthurdent on January 19, 2016 at 4:03 PM

Yeah, I think Stallone getting the only nom from Creed is what lit the fire. Especially when they have nominated up to ten movies for Best Picture in the last few years, but only picked 8 this year. Would have been easy to at least nominate Creed for Best Picture. …

The other thing that has a lot of people in a snit is the Wiz Khalifa song from Furious 7 not getting a nomination. It was one of the biggest hits of the year. Of course Sam Smith is going to win the Oscar, but it would not have killed them to nominate Wiz.
..
rockmom on January 19, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Good analysis, I agree with almost all your points.

The one where I differ is that I think the spark was less about Creed not getting a Best Actor or Best Picture nod, but the lack of any real recognition for Straight Outta Compton.

Given the demographics of the Academy, I suspect that those who are involved in making the nominations were less than thrilled to promote the story – or controversial songs like ‘F*** tha Police’.

Athos on January 19, 2016 at 3:59 PM

The grammys seem pretty black these days.

Waiting for a white musician to complain about that.

How long do you think I have to wait?

HugoDrax on January 19, 2016 at 1:34 PM

What I’d like to see is James Franco walk up on court at the NBA finals and calmly steal the trophy – because white people are not being fairly represented in the NBA – just like last year.

papertiger on January 19, 2016 at 5:11 PM

Interesting that on MLK Day – so many people are whining about not being judged the way they want based on the color of their skin…….

dentarthurdent on January 19, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Brilliant comment from yesterday’s Power Line thread on MLK Day:

1963: The Dream: To be judged by the content of your character, not by the color of your skin.

2016: The Nightmare: We will excuse your bad behavior because of the black color of your skin, and we will accuse you of bad behavior because of the white color of your skin.

Del Dolemonte on January 19, 2016 at 4:03 PM

AesopFan on January 19, 2016 at 11:01 PM

simple solution: separate catagories

best white actor in a leading role
best non-white actor in a leading role

but then – gasp! – what do you do if a non-white person portrays a while one?

and oh! noes!

a non-white transgendered female (expressed) but formerly male (assigned) actor portraying …

oh i give up. we need more nouns.

WaldoTJ on January 20, 2016 at 3:43 PM

Much like Hollywood, we need more diversity in the NBA. I propose an Asian 3 point line half the distance to the hoop and a Caucasian line two thirds of the way out to compensate for broad-based physical inequalities. Further, we must ensure the future viability of the game by adjusting player makeup to align with the percentages of population. Those people of color that don’t represent a minority within the NBA and must be released will be welcome in universities and…well, every other opportunity under the control of the government with the usual unearned benefits.

Pistonhead on January 19, 2016 at 6:27 PM

Harrison Bergeron was unavailable for comment.

WaldoTJ on January 20, 2016 at 3:47 PM

Watching the dumbassed liberals in Hollywood get caught up in their own stupid pile of PC crap, is the best entertainment they’ve put out in decades.

haha

JackM on January 21, 2016 at 8:57 AM

I stopped watching the Oscars when Dirty Harry didn’t get nomiated for best picture.

JackM on January 21, 2016 at 9:04 AM

Comment pages: 1 2