People have been very vocal about the lack of people of colour in this year’s acting categories of the Academy Awards, following on from the same issue last year. Some actors and directors have even called for a boycott of the ceremony, with Spike Lee explaining his view of the matter this week.
You might expect the Academy would just brush it off or try to offer a statistical defence, however they have gone one better, releasing a letter saying it is a problem and they’re going to do what they can to fix it.
Personally, I think there’s a defence that could’ve been made around the fact that Academy members put forward their nominees and the most suggested get shortlisted as the final nominees, so there’s full scope for anyone to be nominated if enough members put their name forward. We don’t know but as the categories are only five actors each, maybe the 6th choice on each list was a black actor or actress? It’s certainly possible.
However, it’s nice to see a well-respected and powerful institution such as AMPAS admit there’s a problem rather than gloss over it, and maybe future years will offer an even more varied selection of films and performances getting nominated for those little gold men.
As for this year, there are still a few people of colour to be found in certain films, with the eponymous character in ‘Creed’ being black actor Michael B. Jordan (who I have a slight suspicion may have missed out on a nomination because of his involvement in stinker of the year ‘Fant4stic’), and ‘Straight Outta Compton’ nominated for its screenplay.