2015 appeared to be an exceptional year for Black filmmakers and actors in Hollywood. However, another year has passed and Blacks have been shut out, again, at the Oscars.
This year’s Oscar nominees were recently announced and every major category was filled by a White actor or filmmaker. A few notable snubs were Will Smith who brilliantly portrayed Dr. Bennet Omalu in Concussion; Jason Mitchell who channeled the highs and lows of the late Eazy E in Straight Outta Compton; Idris Elba who embraced the scary soul of a ruthless dictator in Beasts of No Nation; F. Gary Gray who helped to bring the N.W.A story to life; and Ryan Coogler who thought of the idea to extend the Rocky story and wonderfully directed Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in Creed.
To note, Straight Outta Compton was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and The Weeknd was nominated for Best Song for “Earned It” from 50 Shades of Grey. Alejandro G. Iñárritu, who is Mexican, stands as the only minority for his directorial work in The Revenant.
But because the Oscars completely ignored the work of Black actors and filmmakers in major categories, it reveals a serious problem in Hollywood. About 94 percent of Oscar voters who choose the nominees are white and 77 percent are male. Blacks only represent 2 percent of Oscar voters.
The overwhelming number of White male voters have practiced a form of unconscious bias that is allowed to exist. The same Hollywood “Liberals” who will fight for equal rights and speak out against racial discrimination are doing very little to ensure that inclusion is a priority in their industry.