South East High School

Opinion: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is racist

export 2016 01 29 10 38 35 11 Opinion: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is racist
Illustration by Miguel Moran/Jaguar Times

The controversy causing the big stir this time is the fact that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has only nominated white actors and actresses for the second consecutive year for the 88th Academy Awards. There is a lack of racial/ethnic diversity in the nominations.

On Jan. 14, the nominees were announced. All the nominees for Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, and Actress in a Supporting Role are white.

Sure there are some crowd favorite actors and actresses nominated such as Leonardo DiCaprio for his leading role in The Revenant, Jennifer Lawrence for her leading role in Joy, and Sylvester Stallone for his supporting role in Creed. But that does not make up for the fact that all the nominees are white.

The film Creed must have been good because Stallone received a nomination for his supporting role. But the star of the film, Michael B. Jordan, who is African-American by the way, did not receive a nomination for his leading role. Why didn’t Jordan receive a nomination?

Because the Academy is racist.

One of the few non-white Oscar nominees is Alejandro González Iñarritu, a Mexican director nominated for directing The Revenant starring DiCaprio.

Renowned African-American comedian Chris Rock will be hosting the awards on Feb. 28. Rock reacted to the lack of diversity by saying that he is, “throwing out the show…and writing a new show.”

Writer-director Spike Lee, actor Will Smith, and his wife and actress Jada Pinkett-Smith said they were boycotting the Oscars due to the lack of diversity. Lee and Pinkett-Smith announced their boycotts on social media while Will Smith took his boycott announcement to the national stage by announcing it on Good Morning America.

The president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is African-American by the way, said she was, “both heartbroken and frustrated with the lack of inclusion.”

The Academy reacted to the boycott by releasing a statement saying that it will make its governing body and its voting members more diverse. The Academy promises to include more women and people of other races into its governing and voting bodies by the year of 2020.

Oscar nominee for Actress in a Leading Role Charlotte Rampling has accused Spike Lee of being, “racist…to whites,” because of his decision to boycott.

Rampling accusing Spike Lee of racism is idiotic and ignorant because the one problem that Lee is trying to protest is racism and accusing him racism defeats his whole purpose and it shows that she clearly does not know what she is talking about.

Rampling was furious with the boycott and added, “You can never know for sure, but maybe Black actors did not deserve to be in the final selection.”

Straight Outta Compton, arguably one of the best films of 2015, only received one Oscar nomination for Writing (Original Screenplay). Why did it only receive one nomination if it was one of the best films of 2015? Why weren’t any actors from the movie nominated for Best Actors? Maybe because it was a biopic on notorious rap group N.W.A. and because most of the cast were African-American.

The cast of Straight Outta Compton also did not receive an invitation to the awards on Feb. 28. This caused a lot of speculation blaming the Academy for being racist because the cast is mostly African-American and they were not invited.

Ice Cube, one of the N.WA. members portrayed in the film and producer, said the boycott was, “ridiculous.” He compared the boycott by Lee, Smith, and Pinkett-Smith to, “crying about not having enough icing on your cake.”

The Academy is very racist for not nominating any non-white actors when there were clearly some actors that deserved to be nominated.

If the Academy does not change its racist ways, students at our school and/or other minority teens aspiring to be actors might not be able to have the same opportunities and success as their white counterparts to be nominated for an Academy Award because the Academy is racist and only nominates white people.

If they don’t fix the problem in the near future, the Academy Awards may no longer be the coveted awards that everyone wants because the awards are being given by a bunch of racists and no one wants to receive an award from dehumanizing racists.

 

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