Have the Oscars Been Whitewashed Again?

  • AUTHOR: fiona
  • POSTED ON: January 23, 2020

The biggest award ceremony in Hollywood is underway as Academy released the nominations for the 92nd annual Oscars or should we say… White Oscars?

The best pictures’ nominations in Oscars entertainment include movies with plots of world war, gangsters and an origin story of a supervillain, which really makes you wonder if the jury for Hollywood’s mega event still resides in the 1960s?

The Oscars have been previously criticized for their lack of inclusivity and last year when Black Panther and Moonlight dominated the event, we thought it had changed for the better.

Source: Flipboard

But looking at Oscar news 2020, the list of nominations proved us wrong. The awards did exactly what happened at BAFTA night that nominated all white actors in 2020. Cynthia Erivo refused to perform in the ceremony due to this and went on to say in an interview to the Variety that “The reason I didn’t perform is because I don’t think it’s proper representation, as a woman of color, of people of color in this industry.” 

Source: The Wrap

As a result, Oscars nominated her performance for Harriet, but that just looks like a move to silence the injustice inflicted due to underrepresentation.

The award committee at Academy’s overlooked some of the career-defining performances like Awkwafina in The Farewell and Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, both of which were prominent nominees at Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Speaking of women, out of 10 nominees in the female actor category, 8 of them are Caucasian women with blonde hair. So if the #OscarSoWhite is trending, it clearly summarizes the minds of the jury.

It almost seems that a straight, white, middle-aged dad sat and picked his favorite list of 2019 movies and they were nominated for Oscars.

Despite Little Women being extremely popular among the audiences, the breaking entertainment news that shook the industry was that Greta Gerwig was not included in the best director category and white males dominated those nominations. 

Source: Forbes

And while some people like to watch movies with cars (Fords vs Ferrari), wars (1917) and mobs (The Irishman), we cannot ignore the influence that Academy has on viewers. When the audiences are not aware of these movies through recognition, how do we expect them to make a mark in the industry?

The committee loved the mainstream white movies like Joker and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood so much that they landed nominees in categories like sound, editing, score and costumes which made no sense, especially when movies like Us and Clemency blessed our screens in 2019.

None of the Parasite cast members was recognized and what surprised the viewers the most was that Frozen 2 was found nowhere in the animated category. 

Now even though public and critical acclaims are important, the way that Oscar prioritized films can either make or break the celebration of people of color in the industry.

And if you analyse the awards right now, Todd Philips, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Sam Mendes are the ones whose films dominate the Oscars of 2020, and if either of them take the huge number of wins they are nominated for, it would really speak a lot about the structure and dynamics of Hollywood.

Updated January 23, 2020
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