As some of you know, the past few years the Oscars have been referred to as the “White Oscars” because of its lack of diversity within the winners and nominations. The past 2 years, there have been little to no people of color on the nominee list and despite having made millions of dollars in box office sales and having great reviews, these movies did not win any awards. Among the list of those nominated was Michael B. Jordan in “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton.” These movies also didn’t win despite the outstanding amount of money it made in box office sales. Similarly, in 2015, it excluded prominent actors of color such as, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, and Will Smith. “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” both made over 100 million in box office sales in 2016 but the main black actors weren’t nominated; only white people actually won for things like Best director, film editing, or sound editing. Seems a bit odd, if you ask me.
In better news, it looks like this year may actually be the year things start looking up for actors and actresses of color. Movies such as “Fences,” staring Viola Davis; and “Hidden Figures,” starring Tariji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae both star strong African American women in lead roles. Not only is this an accomplishment for people of color, but especially for women of color. These movies were nominated for things like Best Actress, Best Lead Actress, and even Best Picture. Women of color get little to no representation in Hollywood in general so this may be the change that is needed to add some diversity into the Oscars this year. With such a strong field of historically black-themed films, there was little to no doubt that this years’ Oscars would be a strong year for people of color. Although there are plenty of nominations for these movies, all we can do is hope that they will actually win a title so that we don’t have a repeat of the past two years.