Poor Leonardo DiCaprio. Now that people think that he might finally win the Academy Award, no one’s going to be there.
If you haven’t heard already, a shocking amount of celebrities have had some strong opinions regarding the list of nominees of this year’s Academy Awards. You might even have seen the trending hashtag #OscarSoWhite. Why is this list causing so much controversy?
The lack of diversity.
So I took the liberty to find out where everyone’s from. And here’s my findings:
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo: LA, CA, USA
Matt Damon, The Martian: Cambridge, MA, USA
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant: Hollywood, CA, USA
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs: Heidelberg, Germany
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl: Westminster, UK
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, Carol: Ivanhoe, Melbourne, Australia
Brie Larson, Room: Sacramento, CA
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy: Louisville, KY, USA
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years: Sturmer, UK
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn: The Bronx, NY (Irish), USA
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale, The Big Short: Haverfordwest, UK
Tom Hardy, The Revenant: Hammersmith, London, UK
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight: Kenosha, WI, USA
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies: Ashford, UK
Sylvester Stallone, Creed: Hell’s Kitchen, NY, USA
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight: Hollywood, CA, USA
Rooney Mara, Carol: Bedford, NY, USA
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight: London, Canada
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl: Gothenburg, Sweden
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs: Reading, UK
So as we can see, there is some diversity, although not an impressive amount, but there are 6 different countries represented: USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and Sweden. And as there are 9 Americans on the list (USA only), that means that 55% of the 4 groups aren’t even American. But this isn’t even the issue – the issue lies within the lack of ethnic diversity – which is why the award show is being boycotted by so many. As mentioned, 6 different nationalities, yet they all happen to be Caucasian. Is this a coincidence or are these people nominated on the basis of their skin color?
I agree that there should be a more ethnically diverse group of nominees, but we can’t always have a ratio of ethnicities that needs to be filled. The Academy isn’t an HR department at a company that needs to fill in certain ratios of ethnicities to avoid being litigated. It’s like Michael Caine said, “you can’t vote for someone just because they’re black” – and I’m not saying that black people don’t deserve it! They represent 13% of the US, but the Hispanic and Latinos represent 17% – so where are they on the list? Although the Academy has agreed on changing their current methods in order to increase diversification, it’s also important to not disrespect those who have been nominated. This whole situation – talk about raining on the parade for all the first-time nominees. Let’s see just how much change they are able to implement until 2020. The most important thing is to maintain the status of the show and nominees – where race and color shouldn’t influence anything. The moment we stop looking at skin color, and start focusing on who people are and what they can do, the world immediately becomes a better place.
Hollywood has a lot of issues, especially when it comes to sexism, ageism and ethnocentrism, but before diving into defending just the people of various skin color, take a moment and consider how many openly gay people that have won an Academy Award. I’m sure Sir Ian McKellen has deserved a win more than once, but he still hasn’t gotten one. Cathrine Hardwicke, who directed the first Twilight movie, had to make the movie with barely any funding or support (what a horrible example, but it’s true). Women are constantly pitted against each other, and told to take their clothes off in order to gain popularity. When all these things are going on, is it right to put all our focus on the lack of ethnic diversity? I mean – what about the gingers? How many gingers have won an Academy Award?
Now that we’re able to make the industry listen, bring forward all the important causes that are crucial for better entertainment and fair treatment. In the end, we’re the ones watching these movies and award shows. But until then, #OscarSoWhite