St. Genevieve High School

The Battle of the Academy Awards

For the second year in a row, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has not nominated any people of color for the four respective acting categories. In addition, the trending #OscarsSoWhite has resurfaced once again, but to call The Academy racist is an overstatement.

It’s completely understandable that movie watchers everywhere would consider The Academy racist, but many need to consider the facts. The Academy is 94% old white people and 76% male, according to the L.A Times, and with these thoughts in mind, the voters will not nominate Straight Outta Compton because this film is targeted towards a younger audience.

Boycotting the Oscars is a ridiculous thing to do because The Academy has the right to their own choices of nominees. However, with a giant list of amazing performances in 2015, only five nominees can be chosen for best acting. Nominees are not chosen because of race, but a nomination is made because of who had the better performance.

“I don’t think there’s a problem with the Academy Awards, I just think that people were nominated because of talent, not because of skin color,” said senior Catherine Duque. “But I do feel that Hollywood should give better roles to minority groups because it looks like they’re only placed in dumb comedies.”

Actors are also to blame for not seeking opportunities for more award-worthy roles. Instead, many choose to star in such roles as in the film “Are We There Yet?” and the upcoming “50 Shades of Black.”

Although there is a diversity problem in Hollywood, it wasn’t known that all the nominees were white until social media and minority races brought it up. Racism may be long gone, but it is people’s constant overreactions to things like the Oscars that create unnecessary arguments.

Overall, there should be a big change in not just The Academy but in Hollywood. Hollywood is mostly at fault for not giving bigger roles to not just blacks but also Asians, Latinos, and other people of color.

Jada Pinkett Smith weighed in on the Oscars controversy with a video.

“The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose,” said Smith. “We [should] make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see just as good as the so-called ‘mainstream’ ones.”

While many agree that The Academy needs a younger and more diverse voting pool, they only nominated actors based on performance and talent, not because of race.

Fellow Oscar nominees and winners, Reese Witherspoon, Whoopi Goldberg, and Brie Larson (Best Actress Nominee for Room) have also spoken on the controversy.