Opinion

‘#OscarsSoWhite’ reflects deeper industry problem

With the Oscars right around the corner, talk about the nominated films and movie stars has become more frequent. Yet again, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is facing harsh criticism for the lack of diversity among those nominated for an Oscar. Out of 20 acting nominations, the Academy has recognized no actors of color.

The recent dispute over the nominees has caught the attention of virtually anyone who is able to access social media. Fans and even high-profile celebrities tweeted their thoughts on the issue using the hashtag “#OscarsSoWhite.” Stars like Will Smith and director Spike Lee have even vowed not to attend or watch the Oscars.

When it comes to pointing fingers at who is responsible for this lack of diversity, most will blame the Academy. The Academy is made up of around 6,000 voting members, of which 94 percent are white and 77 percent are male. Many would agree that because of these demographics, the voters’ preferences are for white directors and films that star white actors and actresses. The Academy has come under fire this year for the lack of diversity among its members, but the fault should not be placed on them.

Instead, people must realize that this problem is bigger and goes back much further than the group of voters who pick the nominees for the Oscars.

The diversity issue is a problem with the Hollywood industry itself. For years, the industry has been casting white actors in lead roles for big movies, which has continued to cause an unequal representation in this workforce. If people of color are going to win Academy Awards, they will first need to be cast in more award-worthy movies.

An increased number of directors, studio executives and producers of color will gradually improve this problem. This issue is always going to be a sensitive one, but accusations about the Academy being racist and biased are unproductive. In order to really start working on this problem, everyone must start to realize that many other sectors of the Hollywood industry itself are flawed and biased; in order to eliminate the biases in those sectors, more people of color will have to get involved in changing the norms.

Andrea Vegarra is a freshman majoring in finance and international studies. 

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Prayitno.

February 2, 2016

Reporters

Andrea Vegarra


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “‘#OscarsSoWhite’ reflects deeper industry problem”

  1. TRACY says:

    Wow, imagine, an industry based on ego and looks having any kind of problems with judgement! DUH!!!! The best thing to do is simply not go to the movies, and don’t waste the time to watch an awards show. Read a book, or read to a kid, or go for a bike ride or swim. Time better spent.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Happy Thanksgiving! I started this while I was sitting in Washington-Dulles Airport awaiting my seco ...

This is how extraordinary the University of Miami football season has been: When the Hurricanes won ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes nuggets on Thanksgiving: • There’s no doubt that UM’s home field advantage ...

You’ve got to expect the Las Vegas sportsbooks to come strong and smart with two days of Florida col ...

Here’s why UM moving up to No. 2 in the CFP poll was important, for reasons that extend beyond Canes ...

At the entrance of the University of Miami’s Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic S ...

UM Police Department's Innovative Fundraiser Sells Abandoned Bikes to Support United Way ...

The 41st annual conference on the Caribbean and Central America held a special program at the Univer ...

The Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation gift will establish the Business Plan Competition Endowed Fund. ...

C. David Naylor, a UM Presidential Scholar and public health policy expert, provided insight into he ...

Here are three matchups to watch as the No. 2 Hurricanes face Pitt with a chance to finish the regul ...

The tournament will be played in Southern California next November 22, 23 and 25. ...

Dewan Huell scored a career-high 16 points as the Canes defeated La Salle in Reading, Pa. ...

The University of Miami volleyball team had to break a 10-year-old record to overcome sturdy Georgia ...

The Hurricanes jumped o to No. 2 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday, e ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.