IS #OSCARSOWHITE A REAL CRISIS IN HOLLYWOOD?


The #OscarsSoWhite controversy has been making headlines as some black actors voiced their discontent with the current outcome of the latest Academy Awards nominations.For a second year in row only white actors were nominated. Last year’s Oscar nominations also drew criticism for their lack of diversity.

Director Spike Lee, who recently received an Academy Governor’s Honorary Award and called from the podium for “a serious discussion about diversity” and actress Jada Pinkett Smith have both called for a boycott of this year's Oscars Award in behalf of the snubbed African-American actors, including Idris Elba “Beasts of No Nation” and Pinkett's Smith husband Will Smith “Concussion”, and for this year favorite but also snubbed African-American actors and films  “Straight Outta Compton" and “Creed.”

Many insiders of the entertainment industry and broadcast and printed media have echoed the discontent, making it the hottest topic of conversation and the headline news even surveying among readers and viewers the plausibility of a boycott on Oscars Night.

Paradoxically to the claims, the host of the ceremonies for this year is the African-American comedian Chris Rock, who called the Oscars the “White BET Awards” on Twitter.

In response to the long standing controversy, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released an official statement and said that she is “heartbroken and frustrated” by the lack of diversity among this year’s nominees, and  announced the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is taking “dramatic steps to improve the makeup of our membership". 

Isaacs, who is also African-American, said the Academy will review its recruitment efforts in the coming days and weeks. The Academy has recently  taken steps to diversify its voters, adding non-white actors and directors to its 6,000-plus membership.

“In the ‘60s and ‘70s it was about recruiting younger members to stay vital and relevant said Ms. Isaacs. “In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.”

The controversy of lack of diversity has been declared as a "Crisis of Diversity in the Motion Picture Industry",  as reported and publicized by the media and recently by the complaining filmmakers. The observation is valid from the labor point of view in major film studios, but overblown from the creative point of view. 

The feature film industry is one of the most liberal and creatively inclusive industries in contrast to its counterpart, the television broadcasting industry. We are living in an era in which you can make whatever film you want to make. No holds barred, only the barriers could be those inside your mind or just  by lack of talent.

Anyone regardless of race, gender ethnicity or religion, could become the best director or the best actor or the best cinematographer. It is all up to you. The more creative you become, the more you are accepted among the venerable stars.  This rag to riches story has been repeated  thousand times over in the ranks of the creative force of Hollywood.

If not getting what I believe I deserve in matter of artistic differences is a "Crisis",  then more of a million of asylum seekers trekking the breadth and width of Europe looking for a better future is a just a bad film script.

The nominations in any category for an Academy Award are not an undeniable right to any filmmaker in competition, just because he or she made a movie tailored to win an award or because he or she is Asian, Hispanic or Black. (minority)

The nominations to any motion picture award in Hollywood and elsewhere should be based in the undeniable and honest acting ability of the actors of commanding an outstanding performance and to the ability of the directors and producers to translate the script into the best cinematic  language to compel an audience, case in point, the voting members of the Academy, regardless of  their race or gender.

To take art hostage declaring the boycott "I-will-not-attend-to-the-Oscars" citing race discrimination because my art (a feature film) was "snubbed " from the nominations seems like seeking for an opportunity to re-market the snubbed film to the masses as a star studded underdog during one of most watched telecasts in the world.

The Academy Awards nominations for outstanding achievement in any category should be based on performance and technical merits only as it is presently established by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

The implementation of the new membership mandate of inclusion by gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation to tabulate or nominate any film into competition, as proposed by Academy President Cheryl Boone Issacs  in response to the threats of boycott, will most likely produce a larger scope of future nominated films and could be the catalyst need it to maintain a fair outcome on the largest film competition in the world.  

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