By Renzzo Castaneda /
[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ave you received your invite to the 88th annual Academy Awards taking place this Sunday, Feb. 28 at 8:30om ET? If you haven’t, then quickly book yourself a front row seat in your living room because history is about to be made since this may the year that Leonardo DiCapro gets the golden statuette after 5 previous nominations! Will he?
While movie buffs are eager to celebrate with their favorite actors with euphoria, the fact remains that this weekend’s event remains smeared with #OscarsSoWhite since the men and women of the Academy failed to recognize any men or women of color in this year’s nominations. As a result, some famous people in the entertainment industry, like actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee, have decided not to attend the 88th Academy Awards at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.
In an interview with Variety, Academy Award winner George Clooney decided to voice his opinion on the presumed lack of diversity in the nominations. “There were nominations left off the table. There were four films this year: Creed could have gotten nominations; Concussion could have gotten Will Smith a nomination; Idris Elba could have been nominated for Beasts of No Nation; and Straight Outta Compton could have been nominated. And certainly last year, with Selma director Ava DuVernay—I think that it’s just ridiculous not to nominate her,” Clooney said.
Although some actors like George Clooney, Mark Ruffalo, and Lupita Nyong’o have voiced their opinions and shown their support for the Os
car boycott because of this lack of diversity, not all people have felt the same way.
Recently on the Fox News segment of Fox and Friends, actress Stacey Dash also voiced her opinion about Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee not attending the Oscars because of the lack of diversity in the recent years by calling it “ludicrous” and saying, “Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black.”
For the last two years the nominees have all been white and the lack of diversity in the nominations for these actors and actresses has made a lot of people aware of this pending issue, but it hasn’t stopped at the Academy Awards.
British actor, Idris Elba gave a speech about film and diversity at the U.K Parliament by saying, “I’m not here to talk about black people; I’m here to talk about diversity. Diversity in the modern world is more than just skin color—it’s gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, social background, and—most important of all, as far as I’m concerned—diversity of thought because if you have genuine diversity of thought among people making TV and film, then you won’t accidentally shut out any of the groups I just mentioned.”
The lack of diversity at the Oscars has become so big that the President of the Academy Cheryl Boone Isaacs has stepped in to issue a few changes to diversify the Academy in the coming years. In a statement Cheryl Boone Isaacs stated, “Beginning later this year, each new member’s voting status will last 10 years, and will be renewed if that new member has been active in motion pictures during that decade. In addition, members will receive lifetime voting rights after three ten-year terms; or if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. We will apply these same standards retroactively to current members. In order to immediately increase diversity on the Board of Governors, the Academy will establish three new governor seats that will be nominated by the President for three-year terms and confirmed by the Board. The Academy will also take immediate action to increase diversity by adding new members who are not Governors to its executive and board committees where key decisions about membership and governance are made. This will allow new members an opportunity to become more active in Academy decision-making and help the organization identify and nurture future leaders.”
The 88th Academy Awards is being hosted by the famous comedian and actor Chris Rock who is known for his controversial jokes about race, gender, and diversity among the American community. He has been given the opportunity by the Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to rewrite his opening monologue for the Oscars to fit with this diversity issue and make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed, and knowing him he will deliver something memorable.