The big controversy in the news today is the exclusion of minorities for Oscar nominations. Big names like Jada Pinkett Smith( who coincidentally is married to Will Smith who didn’t get nominated for his role in “Concussion”) Spike Lee ( whose movie “Chiraq” didn’t get nominated and we all know how I feel about that movie “ The Real Chiraq”) and Snoop Dogg ( Who looks for any opportunity to be on television) have all been weighing in on the fact that there are not enough minority actors,screenwriters,editors or just people in the film business that have been nominated for Oscars.I find it a little ironic that these people want to claim racism against the Hollywood type whose history have always been some of the most radical liberals to ever walk the United States.
I understand that in this day in age in America it’s easy to shout that you’re being discriminated against and expect everybody to care. The number of people who are either aware enough to know that at some point or another, everybody regardless of race, gender or sexual preference has been discriminated against or people who are just too busy trying to make a life for themselves and their family to care about being discriminated against are rapidly declining. I blame this one on the Politically Correct bullshit that has been shoved down our throats in America the past couple decades along with the growing trend of feeling “entitled” to things you may not deserve or have worked for. However there seems to be a genuine detachment in Hollywood when it comes to the nominating of possibly deserving film developers and when there is a problem most adults try to find a solution to it instead of bitching and moaning about it.
After reading up on the process to even be eligible for nominations it seems like there is a stricter procedure to nominate possible winners than there is to elect a government official. There are over 6000 members of the Academy who do the initial screening and most of them are people who have won Oscars in the past. The participants screen all the movies eligible- which can reach over 300 movies and pick out their top 5 from their respective fields of expertise- so actors only pick actors, editors only pick editors, composers only pick composers and so on. After those top 5 cards are filled out, the votes are counted and downsized according to number of picks. After 5 people from each category are selected, they go through the final voting to determine the winners. Only assuming that during the initial screening, possible minority candidates have not already been dismissed by their fellow colleagues , the final voting is where I think the problem would lie.
I get that the process of fixing things takes a lot of time and I’m sure those in the business have tried. Hell, maybe shouting “Racists!” is the social scare that some people need to make changes but is the accusation really warranted? Now, I’m not excluding the possibility that those in the Academy are racist but could it possibly be that the people who are doing the final voting to determine winners and are said to be "White, 60+year old males" are voting from a position of " 1940 tinsel town-esque" standards? Is that racism or is that just being old? Do you think any 60+ year old person is going to nominate " Straight outta Compton " for best film?
Did you think they would judge the actors that played Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy E according to their accurate portrayment of their characters and not the the constant use of profanity? Did anyone really think the 7th installment of the Rocky franchise would win anything? This film has been going on since the 1970s! To be honest, I understand why Stallone got a nomination for the screenwriting, who the hell thought he could have made a film about an ageing boxer relevant for over 40 years!? Will Smith, he’s a great actor and has done some great movies but did anybody really go see Concussion? Personally, I'm tired of this assault on the brutality of American Football. Of course it's violent! Everybody who plays it knows it's a violent sport and it has drawbacks! That alone made me roll my eyes at that movie. Idris Elba? You may have a case there cause that man is a phenomenal actor, though I was unable to see "Beasts of no Nation"
My point is that out of the hundreds of movies released each year and the number of actors and screenwriters and editors and composers that are eligible to receive a nomination on a yearly bases (the majority of which has historically always been white)is it really a shock that there were no nominations that included a minority participant? Would it be a shock if no White rappers won at the BET awards? Seems more like an odds and percentage game to me rather than racism and in playing any games of odds and percentages, all gamblers would tell you to increase your chances by taking more spins.The quick solution is to improve your chances by getting more minority into the film industry. That may be a separate issue altogether though.
Like I said previously, though I’m not as quick to accuse the Academy for being racists- I do think there is a disconnect to the modern age of filmmaking and attention to the significance of certain historical and Americana type storylines. I think the solution to their problems is simple actually and it's not so much to forcibly make it a standard to nominate so many minorities for an Oscar and have it become some sort of Hollywood affirmative action. The answer is to enforce term limits for academy voters. A younger voter would quickly recognize a culturally significant film like Straight outta Compton before any 60 yr old. To the same respect, an "old schooler" would appreciate and recognize work that respects the true glamour and traditions of Hollywood's glory years. I have always thought that new eyes always benefits the whole.
In closing, I can understand why those in the business may take offense to this "scandal". All people who work in certain fields want to feel appreciated for their efforts but the reality of it is, Why the fuck should I care? Whether one of the nominations were a minority or all of them were, does it really have any kind of an influence on my life or the lives of my fellow humans? Is the Hollywood influence really relevant to anybody but those in the business? (Maybe the Presidency). Over 300 movies were eligible for an Academy Award- with the price that comes along with seeing one movie in today's market, do you really think at the end of the day, those who did not get nominated or win an award are going to have to “rough it” because of their exclusion?
I have a proposition for the hollywood elites. Make it affordable for the average viewer to be able to enjoy 300 movies a year before you ask us to give two shits about you not being nominated for an award.
Don't be afraid.... That ringing you hear in your ears is just a bit of ...
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