When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its 20 nominees for the four acting categories of this year’s Oscar’s, some of the greatest actors of our generation were featured including Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc. However, for the second consecutive year, these four categories consisted solely of white actors and actresses. This sparked the resurgence of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite while also raising questions regarding the diversity present in Hollywood.
Frustration triggered by this announcement jumpstarted protests by several African American civil rights groups. These protests have not only gained national attention but have reestablished the inquiry of whether or not the Academy’s voters are too ethnically similar to fairly carry out their vote, considering 94 percent of the 6,028 voters are white and 76 percent are male.
This lack of diversity amongst voters desperately needs to be changed. As much as we’d like to think that racism is dead, this is simply not the case. Minorities are still oppressed to this day in more ways than one. It is unfair to reward ethnically diverse actors who’ve overcome the undeniable prejudice still present in our society by being judged by a group of white men.
“The goal of the protest is to send a message to the Academy, send a message to Hollywood, send a message to the film industry,” said the head of LA’s Urban Policy Roundtable, Earl Hutchinson.
Even President Obama weighed in on the issue.
“I think as a whole the industry should do what every other industry should do which is to look for talent, provide opportunity to everybody,” President Obama said.
As Martin Luther King Jr. put it, no one should be ”judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Everyone deserves a chance in life, regardless of what they look like.