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

No doubt that hurricane season, in all its fury, has released its wrath on South Florida and beyond. ...

Vernon “Vern” Carey, Jr., the consensus No. 1 junior basketball recruit in the nation, paid an unoff ...

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Hurricane Irma gave Mark Walton a chance to be with his 6-month old daughter and ...

LAKE BUENA VISTA —Apparently, University of Miami All-American receiver Ahmmon Richard’s hamstring w ...

University of Miami quarterback Malik Rosier was about to head home to Mobile, Alabama, when the bos ...

UM students fan out across South Florida to help local neighborhoods rebound from the impacts of Hur ...

Classes resume on the Coral Gables campus after the removal of 4 million pounds of landscape debris. ...

Students living in residential housing are returning to campus and classes with renewed resolve. ...

UM’s student-run ’Canes Emergency Response Team puts their training into action to assist with recov ...

UM students recount how they rode out the storm called Hurricane Irma. ...

The Miami Hurricanes are set to take on the Toledo Rockets at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Nathan Kuck and Maryam Jawid led the University of Miami cross country program with top 10 finishes ...

Behind a big night from junior outside hitter Kolby Bird, who had tied a career-high with 17 kills, ...

The Canes are back in action for the first time in three weeks. Here are three matchups to watch in ...

The Miami Hurricanes swimming team wrapped up its first day of competition at the All-Florida Invita ...

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.