Is the #OscarsSoWhite ?

Over the past two weeks, I have studied my audience to the best of my ability. Something that stood out the most to me about them is the level of intelligence in the room. Conversations lead to even more comments and questions. It is to the point that we start to wonder how we got off track. But what I really like is the diversity oAcademy_Award_trophyf the audience. Having these two qualities can invite creativity, different perspectives and a healthy debate.

A couple weeks ago, after the Oscar Nominations were announced, there was a lot of controversy about the lack of diversity in the nominees for the second year in a row. Because of this, some of the great actors/actresses have decided to not only attend the Oscars, but to also boycott the awards. The popular trending hashtag from last year has surfaced again as #OscarsSoWhite. But is it? Or are actors overthinking? Some key information that I took from this article on CNN are the following.

  1. “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is made up of more than 7,000 people who work in cinema.”
  2. “In 2012, a Los Angeles Times study of the academy found that “Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male” while “Blacks are about 2% of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2%.””
  3. UC Berkeley School of Law did a study and “Oscar winners and nominees of color make fewer movies per year after their nominations than their white peers do,” the study also found that “Oscar winners and nominees of color are less likely than their white peers to receive subsequent nominations.
  4. In the reading of “The Diversity Gap in the Academy Awards,” 97% of the producers and writers were white, while 88% of the actors were white. Overall, 93% of academy voters were white and 76% were male in 2015.

Some interesting information to get you thinking. To read more go to: #OscarsSoWhite? It starts with the academy

Is this a lack of inclusion? I believe so.

But in the midst of all of this, there is another controversy that has added fuel to the fire. Joesph Fiennes, a caucasian actor, has been selected to be the role of Michael Jackson in this show. In the link I provided below, Michael Jackson himself said he did not want a
caucasian boy to play him when he was a child for a Pepsi commercial. Although I understand the pigmentation of his skin had changed drastically after Off The Wall came out and it would make sense to some to have someone who has the same skin color, but is it really okay to for Joseph Fiennes to play the King of Pop? An African American?

I add this piece of controversy in hopes to add more to this discussion.

Michael Jackson Interview with Oprah Winfrey-1993


Such powerful street art in London. 🇬🇧 #oscarssowhite

A post shared by Chalmers (@mluciac33) on


4 thoughts on “Is the #OscarsSoWhite ?

  1. Viola Davis had a wonderful response at the SAG awards in her press conference about how diversity isn’t a trending topic and how we should support the art of directors like Lee Daniels and Spike Lee instead of boycotting events. I wanted to link the article here but it wont let me, if you search Viola Davis SAG awards 2016 you will find it.

  2. I found your blog to very interesting and well worth the time to read, with that said I agree with loving the intelligence and diversity in the classroom. However, I think that that is a good segway for looking at the concerning issue with the Oscars, like our class it is still limited in its diversity, there is 1 African American female & 1 male, there are more men to female ratios, the ratio to Other groups to Caucasians, is even higher.
    I use these examples as a way to just address how, these areas lack diversity can easily be overlooked, the difference here, I guess is the acceptance and hopefully the belief that we all will succeed, based on our ability. Whereas, yoi have the Oscars that for as long as they have existed existed, (like so many other venues) have not shown equality in their selective nomination process!
    Will it ever change? I guess we will see!
    Lastly, No there most definitely shouldn’t be a Caucasian man playing the Role of Michael Jackson! Really!!? Come On Now!?

    1. I really appreciate your input on my post. However, I must address something that is important. When I say diverse, I mean more than race (We do have more than African American and Caucasin, but we also have Asian American, hispanic and probably more – so more than just two races). The audience is so diverse because some people are different ages young and old, married or not, female or male, teacher and students. There could be more stuff that makes us all diverse, but we could be here all day. My point is, there is more to diversity than race. The great thing about the diversity in this class is that we all have different perspectives on things.
      But I do agree that we should be given a chance to succeed and also awarded for how hard we work despite the color of our skin. But as you said, we just have to wait and see if things can change. We can only hope that after all of this has been surfaced, that change will happen. I think with the information/facts that were provided in the cnn article, it clearly shows the discrepancy.

      To talk about the role of MJ, I think it is quite disrespectful to do that. If I was the actor, I would have rejected it.
      Really appreciate hearing from you on something that is important.

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