This past weekend, an academy of aged white men told us which movies they liked best, and for some reason we all cared.
Look, I like an award show as much as the next guy. Actually, no. I really hate award shows. And the Oscars are no exception. Forgive me, but boiling an art form down to a room full of celebrities patting themselves on the back for how awesome they are rubs me the wrong way. To me, the self-congratulatory nature of award shows like the Oscars feels a little too obnoxious and unnecessary. But people put weight on these things, and on the Oscars more than any other award show.
For some reason, film is the art that is most heavily geared toward the retrospective award show. When a new album is released, no one wonders, “Will it be Grammy-worthy?”
The Oscars carry a lot of weight in the film industry, and people in the industry care a lot about the recognition that an Oscar brings. And so it is in this context that I bring you: rage.
The Oscars are one of the biggest nights for the entertainment industry. The Oscars are the biggest awards for films. That being said, they have a great influence on film community and popular culture. It is big news when nominations are announced. People celebrate hard work, the general public gets an idea of what movies to watch, and non-nominees have to accept the loss. This year is no different. Except there is a big controversy over the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations.
Many critics have taken note of this lack of diversity. There has also been a public outcry against the whitewashed Hollywood. Even SNL has poked fun at the current situation. It is well known that the majority of Oscar nominations go to white males. There seems to be a lack of representation for anyone else. This may be the basis of the arguments that people are putting up with this year’s nomination selections. This may all be true but it seems like Hollywood is taking a turn for the better. Last year, 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture along with a Best Supporting Actress award. This year, Selma is nominated for best picture. Should there still be a conflict?
Although Selma still got nominated for the biggest award, there are plenty of talented actors who did not get nominated. While it is true that all the nominations are for white people, one has to understand that the academy has to look past race and look at raw talent. This makes it hard for anyone who is not white because the majority of films feature mostly Caucasian casts. This indirectly requires anyone who is not white and who wants to be nominated to work extra hard. Hollywood unfortunately believes that only white casts sell tickets. Until this false practice dies, it is going to be hard to create a diverse nomination list.