I'd like to continue the discussion of TV Tokenism, as I had talked about in my last post, and apply the topic to a more current and trending issue. This year's Oscar nominations have been highly disappointing, many people agreeing that the film Selma was seriously "snubbed". After talking about this in American Studies, I continued to wonder why no women directors were nominated, or no people of color to receive an acting nomination?
In the article "The Whitest Oscars Since 1998; Why the Selma 'Snubs' Matter," Kevin Fallon presents an interesting statistic: "94 percent white, 76 percent male, and average of 63-years-old— the nominations for the most prestigious and important awards in entertainment reflects the movie tastes not of a complicated, modern, and diverse culture, but a bunch of old white guys." Those numbers alone are incredibly alarming. How can this be ok? Last year, it finally felt like progress had been made, having several actors of minority nominated, (and who won oscars), while not a single person of color was nominated this year. Not one. Its hard to believe we're pretty much back to where we started, the year I was born actually.
The Oscars reigned in about 43 million views last year. I don't think all of those people watching were, like Fallon said, 63 year old men. A lot of the people that tuned in were probably excited to see some underdogs pull through, and finally gain some leverage in the entertainment world. I'm interested to see how many people will be watching the Oscars this year, and how many of those people will be rooting for Selma to win best picture just to throw the corrupt system of the Academy Awards a curveball. (Thats a whole other story though.) I wish there would be come consistency with racial diversity in the Entertainment business, and that instead, everyone has a fair shot at success with everything, but that would be too simple, right?