The 2016 Oscar nominees were announced Thursday morning, and once again the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences and its voters are drawing fire for the virtually all-white nominations.
Their choices, which notably omitted Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson of Creed, Will Smith and Gugu Mbatha-Raw of Concussion, Idris Elba and Abraham Attah for Beasts of No Nation, virtually the entire Straight Outta Compton cast and Benicio Del Toro for Sicario, gave the Academy an awkward repeat of the “#OscarsSoWhite” backlash that followed last year’s nominations.
Even people nominated for movies like Straight Outta Compton and Creed are white.
Vanity Fair reports that in its 87-year history the Academy has awarded Oscars to exactly 12 people of colour, out of 44 total nominees.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs claims she has since redoubled efforts to diversify its membership, and slated Chris Rock to host this year’s Feb. 28 ceremony.
That is seemingly not enough for the public, who are outraged at the nominees.
The AMPAS voting body is 92 per cent white, according to a 2012 analysis of who’s doing the Oscar voting. While that may not necessarily indicate racism, it certainly provides a specific lens with which to look through. If your perspective is a “white gaze,” then it can be assumed that will influence the outcome of votes.
Alongside Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, the nominees for best actor are: Matt Damon (The Martian), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo).
The best actress field is led by favourite Brie Larson for Room and includes Jennifer Lawrence (for Joy, making her, at 25, the youngest four-time nominee), Cate Blanchett (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years).
With files from The Associated Press