Are The Oscars Racist? 40 White Nominees, 0 Black in Two Years…

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Since the Oscars award nominations were announced on January 14th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been under serious fire.  For the second consecutive year, all twenty nominees in the major acting categories were white.

This observation was widely recognized and sparked the revival of the infamous twitter hash tag #OscarsSoWhite from last year.  But the backlash seems to be much bigger this year, and things got interesting when Jada Pinkett Smith stepped in and voiced her opinion.

“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power,” Jada stated.  “We are a dignified people, and we are powerful… So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love.  And let’s do us, differently.”

Although a boycott of the Oscars may not have been anyone’s intention, other celebrities were quick to join Jada’s side in an effort to highlight the current issue.  Spike Lee wrote on Instagram ‘Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all. We can’t act?! WTF!!’

George Clooney was also amongst those that voiced an opinion.  “If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job,” says Clooney.  “Think about how many more African Americans were nominated.  I think around 2004, certainly there were black nominees — like Don Cheadles, Morgan Freeman.  And all of a sudden, you feel like we’re moving in the wrong direction.”

The issue of possible racism in the Oscars is an ongoing issue, and sparks outrage year after year.  The focus is on the fact that only white actors are being nominated, and people want to see change and greater diversity.

But not everyone agrees with the idea of a boycott.  Charlotte Rampling says the Oscars boycott is ‘racist to white people,’ while questioning the entire premise behind the outcry.   This ludicrous comment has now placed her front-and-center in the Oscars diversity controversy, with the Academy unable to cool the flames.  Following Rampling’s interview, response on social media to Rampling’s comments has been immediate and massive, and predictably unsupportive.


(Photo by Prayitno, Attribution 2.0 Generic, cc by 2.0)

19 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Yup. Because you can’t be racist to white people in this country. Quotas that force companies to turn down the best candidate for a job because they are white? Not racist. Black man kills white man? Not racist. White man kills black man? Racist.

    All forms of racism are disgusting. Yet in 2016 it is as strong as ever.

    • GGG

      Of course one of these people is the first comment.

      Lemme guess. You’re a Men’s Rights activist, too?

      • pbody

        yeh but his point is dead on. The entire thing is sickening.

        Do we now have affirmative action with the oscars? The oscars are CLEARLY NOT RACIST to anyone who has lived on this planet for more than 10 years. …wait … actually I just realized we are talking about the Oscars here, not the Grammys. Why is this here? Anyway… still not racist.

        Why don’t we start with, what black actors performed better than the current nominees, then we can have a discussion.

        • GGG

          Institutionalized racism is often not intentional and certainly not malicious. But the Academy voters are like 94% white, 77% male, and like over half over 60 years old. Doesn’t matter how progressive Hollywood pretend to be, inherent bias is human nature and it’s going to happen. So the voting bloc certainly needs to be overhauled a bit.

          As for deserving actors, Idris Elba did phenomenal in Beasts of No Nation, as did the child and others. But, to be fair, I think that film got fucked over more for going with Netflix than anything.

      • Anonymous

        I’m an equal rights activist. There is no equal in pointing fingers and creating mandates to make things artificially equal.

        And yes, I work in an industry where we see an increasing push for an eventual 50% male, 50% female work force because of our politically correct society. Despite that it is an industry where women make up only about 10% of the applicants and it is barely increasing. It is completely idiotic to turn away qualified applicants because of gender.

          • Colonialism still going on

            “It’s tough being a white male.”
            Your response is the typical white western male condescendence, who thinks he is righteous beyond rightnessness, so full of himself he is convinced his mission is to teach all humanity, both white , black, male, female, how to live rightly.

          • GGG

            Uh…if you took 3 seconds to read my other posts in this thread you’d clearly see that statement was sarcastic…

            How dumb are you?

          • Colonialism still going on

            Yes, I know it was sarcastic. Precisely. it’s ok. Institutionalized western condescendence is often not intentional and certainly not malicious….

          • GGG

            OK, now I’m confused. So, as a white person I’d be a borderline, if not actual, racist asshole if I said what the guy I first responded to said. But I’m also a condescending racist for DEFENDING minorities?

            Please enlighten me as to what I’m allowed to say regarding this topic. Seems like you’re doing the exact thing you’re saying I’m doing; pushing your “righteous beyond rightnessness [sic]” on me.

            So I’m sorry I defended black people? Happy now?

  2. DavidB

    A two year sample is hardly valid when the numbers are so small. If you take the last ten years, using the Wikipedia list of black nominees, by my count there have been 25 black nominees out of 200 nominees in total. That is 12.5%, which coincidentally or not is almost exactly the proportion of black people in the US population. Of course, not all nominees are American, but extending the sampling base to all English-speaking countries would not increase the statistically expected proportion of black nominees. One can always argue about individual cases. Personally I think David Oyelowo should have been nominated for ‘Selma’ in 2014, but so what? Just based on the stats, there isn’t even a prima facie case for anti-black bias over the last 10 or 15 years. If I were an African-American, I might be complaining about the number of non-African-American blacks getting good roles – David Oyelowo, Idris Elba, Sophie Okenodo, Lupita Nyong’o, Chiwetal Ejiofor, John Boyega and others – but white American actors might have a similar grudge when, e.g., they see an English actress taking a juicy American role in ‘Diary of a teenage girl’. But I doubt that American casting directors are saying ‘oh, I really don’t like Americans’.

  3. Versus

    Where’s the evidence that this is actually the result of prejudice/racism?

  4. Versus

    So are you claiming it’s impossible to be “racist to white people”?
    That sounds like…a racist statement.

    • People

      In 67 in Nam we were closer then we are now?
      I see some hate groups are trying to convert people.
      Forget the Media and think of what’s right. This is all hype that won’t mean nothing.

  5. Rick Shaw

    Get over it, people. Everyone is a racist in some way. Look back three years at the Oscars and a number of minorities won awards. Sheesh!

  6. Matt Bunsen

    This is not digital, not music, and not even news at this point. Next…

  7. PiratesWinLOL

    The NBA seems much more racist than this. 74.4 percent black and only 0.2 percent asians? Now that is what I call racism!

    Or how about the nobel price committee? It must be pretty racist too? No black person has recieved the reward, for his or her contributions to science.

    Another theory could be that the awards, are just given to people who has made a significant contribution and deserve it? Maybe they should focus their attention on hard work, instead of whining all the time and make all kinds of trouble with the police etc.