A tidal wave of emotion have swept over and drenched Hollywood in bad PR and controversy after it was revealed there was not a single black person was nominated in any of the acting and movie-making categories
The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite has taken on a life of its own. Several major stars such as Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and his wife, and Don Cheadle have either contemplated or have announced they are boycotting the Oscars. It’s also bad timing because this just so happened to be the year Chris Rock was chosen to host the movie season’s biggest awards show.
On Martin Luther King’s holiday, the first black president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, released a statement expressing her frustration and disappointment with the “lack of inclusion”
I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.
As many of you know, we have implemented changes to diversify our membership in the last four years. but the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly.
This isn’t unprecedented for the Academy. In the ’60s and ’70s it was about recruiting younger members to stay vital and relevant. In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. We recognize the very real concerns of our community, and I so appreciate all of you who have reached out to me in our effort to move forward together.
Most urbanites looked askance when Boone Isaacs was chosen as the first black president of the Academy, knowing that she would wield very little power to implement changes. And it looks like their fears have been realized. If Boone Isaacs has no influence in the makeup of the Academy voters, then what exactly is her purpose or role as the president — other than window dressing designed to hoodwink blacks into thinking that the establishment was really implementing true inclusion in Tinseltown.