The 90th Academy Awards will be held on March 4 in Hollywood at the Dolby Theater and will be broadcast on ABC. The nominations were announced on Jan. 23 and were praised for their inclusivity. There were far fewer snubs this year than in subsequent years according to industry insiders. Less controversy surrounds the inclusion of men and women of color in this year’s awards. Two men of color were nominated in the Best Actor category, Denzel Washington was nominated for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” and Daniel Kaluuya for “Get Out”.
Two women of color were nominated; Octavia Spencer for “The Shape of Water” and Mary J. Blige for “Mudbound”. Two directors of color were also nominated. Jordan Peele for “Get Out” and Guillermo Del Toro for “The Shape of Water”. The Academy Awards in 2015 and 2016 saw all 20 nominations go to white actors and casts which hadn’t happened since 1998. In response, the twitter hashtag #Oscarssowhite was created by April Reign the managing editor at BrodwayBlack.com. The hashtag was trending on twitter for weeks and caused a stir over the snubbing of black actors and black films. Among the films that year were “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” which both received recognition separately from other guilds and awards ceremonies.
To add insult to injury “Creed” was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Sylvester Stallone and “Straight Outta Compton” was nominated for best original screenplay for both its white writers. In addition, Michael B. Jordan was snubbed for Best Actor as was the cast for “Straight Outta Compton” which was critically acclaimed and commercially successful motion picture. Over the course of the Academy’s history under 20 acting awards have been given to black actors, only 5 for Latino actors, only 3 Asian actors and one indigenous actor. However, audiences and the industry was excited to learn of a change of staff at the Academy to include more people of color.
In an LA Times article they break down the percentages of Oscar voters by age, race, and gender.
Oscar voters are majority white with 94 percent of the 5,765 voting members listed as Caucasian with only 2 percent black and 2 percent Latinos. Of the Oscar voters, 77 percent of them are male with only 23 percent female. In addition, the median age is 62 and voters younger than 60 years old represent just 14 percent of the membership. The stigma began to break in 2017 when “Moonlight” won Best Picture and became the first homosexual story to win best picture. “Moonlight” was also a black film that won Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actor. The film was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Score, Best
Cinematography, and Best Film Editing. This stigma has begun to change and women and men of color are gaining more representation, especially following the Oscars so white, and me too movements Casey Affleck announced that he would not be handing out the Best Leading Actress award as planned. This announcement comes in the wake of the #metoo movement coupled with last year’s resurfacing allegations against Affleck. In a comment made to deadline Affleck said that he, “did not want to become a distraction from the focus that should be on the performances of the actresses in the category.”
In the same deadline interview, he mentioned the impact of the #metoo movement on his decision. The alleged incident occurred on the set of Affleck’s film “I’m Still Here” where allegations of sexual harassment surfaced in 2010. The event resurfaced in 2017 after Affleck won Best Leading Actor for his role in the film “Manchester by The Sea.” Both accusations were settled out of court several years ago for an undisclosed amount of money. The Academy Awards airs on March 4 on ABC.