Saturday, February 27, 2016

#OscarSoWhite: Racial Inequality At The Academy Awards Visualized

Tomorrow Sunday February 28 comes with the biggest night of the film industry when millions of eyes on earth will be on the 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA. All the stars are already rehearsing for the glitz and razzmatazz of the red carpet. But the threat of #OscarSoWhite boycott is also in the news.

I have been following the Academy Awards for decades since I am not only a movie buff, but also a filmmaker, scriptwriter and film writer. The recurrent issue of racial inequality has not really bothered me, because I don't like it when Art becomes a subject of racism by those who feel cheated or deprived for not being Caucasian. That is why I will not join the brouhaha of #OscarsSoWhite, because as much as I believe in diversity and equality, quality should be not sacrificed on the altar of diversity and the ethics of best practices should not be compromised to settle racial scores or pamper those suffering from exaggerated persecution complex.

It is beneath me to be counting how many blacks and other non-whites made the nominees for the 2016 Academy Awards. What matters most is the quality of the actors and the films. Lest we forget, many white actors and directors have also felt cheated many times at the Oscars when they expected to win, but lost to other nominees. In fact, I feel that Leonardo DiCaprio should have won the Oscar for Best Actor for Randall Wallace"s "The Man in the Iron Mask" of 1998 and as Howard Hughes in Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" of 2004, but he did not win. Now he is my favourite to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his challenging role as frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's "The Revenant" with his fifth Oscar nomination.

Read the following analysis on Racial Inequality At The Academy Awards Visualized By Niall McCarthy, Feb 26, 2016.

 This year, non-white nominees will be absent for all of the major awards at the Oscars for the second year running. A lack of racial diversity in Hollywood and at the Academy Awards in particular has led to a storm of controversy over the past few weeks. A recent analysis by the Daily Telegraph reveals that racial inequality has plagued the Oscars for its entire existence. Since 1920, the percentage of non-white nominees has never risen above 15 percent. Halle Berry remains the only non-white woman to ever win the award for Best Actress.

This chart shows the percentage of non-white nominees by decade and non-white winners by award.

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