ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards Thursday. “The Revenant” leads with 12 nomina-tions, with possible honors in Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (go, Leo, go!). “Mad Max: Fury Road” roped in 10 nominations, with “The Martian” trailing behind at seven.
But the Internet is ablaze with “#OscarsSoWhite” after the nominations revealed a lack of diversity in The Academy’s choices for best acting performances and directing.
2016 marks the second consecutive year no actor, actress nor director of color were nominated. Backlash initially emerged for 2015’s ceremony, named the “whitest Oscars since 1998” by The Independent.
Is it just that films were so incredibly white this year? Not neces-sarily. Following The Academy’s announcement, Huffington Post compiled a list of actors and ac-tresses of color who could have been nominated for the prestigious titles.
Among those in the list were Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”), Tessa Thompson (“Creed”) and Samuel L. Jackson (“The Hateful Eight.”)
“Straight Outta Compton” was also snubbed for most nominations, despite grossing more than $200 mil-lion worldwide. It received the Best Original Screenplay nod; however, the screenplay was written by white writers.
Additionally, The Academy itself is staunchly lacking in representatives of color. In 2013, the last year demographics were released, The Academy’s voting member composition was 93 percent white, according to The Washington Post. Black and Latino members made up only 2 percent each. Once inducted, membership lasts a lifetime, so purposely adjusting The Academy makeup to allow for more miscellany is impossible in that method.
To make matters worse for diversity, membership consideration is only extended to Oscar nominees – the easiest way to be considered for The Academy – or to those invited by two existing Academy members.
Just going by the former requirement alone, the Academy’s demographics percentages would grow even whiter in the future. At this rate, the demographics are unlikely to shift in non-white favor anytime soon.
The Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs called the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations “disappointing” and said she hopes it isn’t discouraging for the film industry, according to CBS News.
The 88th annual Academy Awards, hosted by comedian Chris Rock, airs Feb. 28 on ABC.