As the most prestigious awards ceremony in Hollywood dawns tonight, there has been no secret as to the recent controversy concerning the nominee choices. In fact, in the first time in nearly twenty years, all of the actors nominated are caucasian. Among the most notable snubs are the cast members of the movie, Selma, which won praises from both critics and audiences everywhere.
David Oyelowo, who plays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, portrayed the legendary reverend with such fervor and accuracy that it seems almost outrageous that he was not considered for the Best Actor category in the Oscars. Also, with the unfortunate exclusion of Selma’ s director, Ava DuVernay, the Academy missed out on the opportunity to nominate the first African-American female director in history. Although the movie was nominated for Best Picture, it was completely ignored in both directorial and acting categories.
While 2014’s Oscars was highlighted by the monumental win of the period drama film, 12 Years a Slave, and the heartwarming acceptance speech given by Best Supporting Actress winner Mexican-Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong’o, this year’s event will be remembered for something completely different. Recent reports have revealed that most of the Academy is predominately caucasian (94% to be exact), and while it is attempting to include a more diverse board, it’s pretty difficult to do so when all the members receive lifetime terms.
Many people are upset that the Academy hasn’t made a more conscious decision in choosing their nominees, especially considering all of the events that conspired in the past year or so. At a time when people are rattled and frustrated more than ever by racism in America and other social and civil rights issues, it would have been an intelligent idea to include at least a little bit of diversity in the Oscars. Even besides the issues of the lack of diversity, when such an incredibly acted and well-directed film such as Selma can be excluded from most major categories in the event, there is bound to be talk among the people concerning the unfairness and injustice in the choosing.
By: Anika Nahar / Photos: Vox Media, Inc