With the announcement of the 2016 Oscar nominations, it is painfully obvious that there was a lack of colour in the films and performances. There has been the thinking for sometime that Hollywood honours its own and by that I mean the white executives honouring their fellow white creatives in film.
I think it goes deeper than the Oscars, it really shows the barriers in Hollywood itself in general when auditioning or getting films produced if you’re black. Some have asked for host Chris Rock to boycott the Academy Awards. Personally, I think this is the time where you need a comedian like Rock to deliver some social commentary on that “Oscars so white” mentality to both alleviate and poke fun at the tension.
As for that idea that Hollywood is just a bunch of racists white folk. Well that may be true, but at the day’s end the colour that matters most in Tinseltown in green, lots of green. Money is really the only thing the bigwigs respect and if the audience sees that diversity is something that they want in their movies, Hollywood will be quick to catch on. With the Fast and Furious franchise, there is a strong case to be made with its diverse cast and billion dollar films that the audience is willing. The question is ‘Is it happening quick enough?’.
The obvious question would appear to be how can Hollywood diversify its movies then. How can actors and actresses of colour be able to looked to be an even playing field? I think that it would have to examined on a corporate level where the decision making trickles down. I think the hack into Sony emails in 2014 shows an insight into how thinks regarding race in movies, an email between Joel Silver and Sony head really showed thinking that there is itself a segregated cinema experience.
Update on the blog I posted this week, a recent article has mentioned steps the academy is taking.While it doesn’t solve the problem, it is a positive step forward for equality