2016 Academy Awards

With the recent #Oscarssowhite hashtag opening up the debate about whether Hollywood is diverse in its selection of acting nominees, the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony should be very interesting. Not so much for who wins or loses, but more for what the presenters, recipients, and host might say.

To be sure, people are up in arms at the lack of diversity regarding acting roles and accolades. They should be. Besides black actors winning a precious few “Best Lead” or “Best Supporting” awards, even fewer Asian, Latino, Native American, or other actors of color have had those honors bestowed on them in the almost 100 years of these awards.

What might be lost in all of this is the fact that from film projects being greenlit, budgeted, promoted, distributed, to who gets to critique them, Hollywood is a very insular industry. And it is a very powerful one at that. It is not only a multi-billion dollar industry, it shapes a person’s worldview and view of themselves.

Take a look at the guilds that make up the triumvirate of filmmaking and you will see that they are not surprisingly lily white and male. The guilds I speak of are the Directors Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Writers Guild. Very few women or people of color are members of these guilds and you can count on one hand how many have won awards for their achivements.

Hollywood has promised to do their best to make their ranks more diverse. Their first order of business is to release Gods Of Egypt with all white deities two days before this year’s Oscars…

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