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Oscars Lack of Diversity Rankles Media

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Oscars Lack of Diversity Rankles Media

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

©A.M.P.A.S.®

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

©A.M.P.A.S.®

©A.M.P.A.S.®

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Ben Rivers, Staff Writer

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A Brief overview of this controversial topic

 

Recently, there has been a lot of upset surrounding the Oscars, primarily focused on the lack of black nominations. However, many still don’t understand what is going on. What is everyone so upset about? Those less in tune with current events may need to catch up with Hollywood’s latest drama. Others might just need a quick explanation of what’s going on and why they should or shouldn’t care.

It all started last year, right before the 2015 Oscar awards. People began to notice the lack of black nominations, especially those in the top four categories, of which no black actors were nominated. Many were upset by this and called out the Academy for lack of diversity,but was quickly put to bed without much fuss. However this year marks the second year in a row in which no black actors are in the nominations for the top 4 awards. This sparked a massive uproar amongst black and white people alike, sparking the creation of #Oscarssowhite.Some actors have chosen to boycott the oscars in response, such as Will smith and snoop dogg. Many other prominent black figures have urged people to take a stand against this lack of diversity, namely Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee. People all over the country have chose to rally behind this cause, but is it really justified?

“There are just more white actors than black actors. With more to choose from, white actors are more likely to be getting the awards” Tara Mazurek (10) said.

That’s not wrong. In the united states there are many more white people than there are black, hence being called a minority. Many still argue that the numbers are still skewed. That there are still too few even in regards to the population. Recent statistics, however, say otherwise. In a statistic done by the economist, approx. 12% of nominations have consisted of black actors. Now this may not seem like much, but when you consider that the U.S. population is 13% black, it becomes a lot less jarring. That’s not all, statistics also found that around 17% of all oscar wins have been black nominees. This falls right in line with the population of black people in america.

“If you went over to India to become a Bollywood star, and they had an Oscar type award for that, how likely do you think it would be that you would win? Not very likely. That’s kind of like how it is here.” Patricia Lupu (11) said.

In the midst of all this arguing about black representation in hollywood, many have pointed out the much more alarming ratio amongst other nationalities. In the past only 3% of Oscar nominations have been for hispanic actors, which also make up 16% of the US population. Along with that only 1% have gone to asian actors, while asians make up 6% of the US population.

“I really don’t think the academy is being racist or anything. I think they give Oscars to those they think deserve them and African American actors just haven’t been earning them. There just aren’t as many A-list black actors, and the ones that are just aren’t getting as high profile parts.” Morgan Ratliff (11) said.

The same can be said about actors of all racial minorities. Maybe americans should stop pointing fingers at the ones who give the awards and instead figure out why they aren’t earning them. Maybe look at casting in hollywood and work to get a more diverse range of actors. Americans should also take a moment to think about their affect on the situation. If movie goers were more invested in actors of diverse backgrounds and pushed for more accurate portrayals, maybe we would start seeing them  more often.

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