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 of 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.
- “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is made up of more than 7,000 people who work in cinema.”
- “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%.””
- 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.
- 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.