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


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Before Daniel Carter decided to sign with the Pittsburgh Panthers out of St. Thomas Aquinas, the fou ...

Lots of nuggets on new UM quarterback Tate Martell, the fallout and Jarren Williams’ reaction: ▪ Whe ...

Katie Meier is a legend at Duke. Her photo hangs in the concourse at Cameron Indoor Arena. She was t ...

New University of Miami head coach Manny Diaz was asked on the radio the morning after he was hired, ...

Jalen Hurts is off the market — and he’s not making his way to South Florida. The former Alabama Cri ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

Gisela Vega, the former associate director of LGBTQA Initiatives at Florida International University ...

With new “personas” allowing for a more personalized mobile experience, the redesigned University of ...

Teams of scholars will use U-LINK grants to examine ways to reduce opportunity gaps and biases in mu ...

Miami released its 2019 football schedule highlighted by a season-opening matchup against Florida in ...

University of Miami Athletics announced Thursday that ESPN reporter and UM alumna Allison Williams w ...

University of Miami head women's volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced Monda ...

After a weekend bye, the Miami women's basketball team resumes action Thursday evening at 7 p.m ...

University of Miami Athletics announced Monday that it will host its fifth annual Celebration of Wom ...

TMH Twitter
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.