Last year #OscarsSoWhite was trending throughout social media. The focus of the hashtag movement was the Academy Awards ceremony for its lack of minority films and actor nominations in the categories of Best actor and actress. The movement gained so much attention that many minorities in the entertainment industry refused to attend the event.
In an effort to change the conversation, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy Awards helped push through an updating of Academy board members, which in turn helped increased minority representation within the Oscar voter community.
Gill Roberston, president of the African American Film Critics Association, spoke with USA Today and voiced his opinions about diversity at this year’s Oscars. “In terms of the diversity of the list this year, we are so totally thrilled. There were 18 African Americans nominated across various categories, and that’s something to celebrate. Hopefully, this is the start of something that will continue every year, and one day there won’t be a reason to have this conversation. Now we just have to make sure that Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, LGBT and others also are represented in the future.”
Roberston comments are dead on. Black people across all fields and throughout the country have voiced their displeasure with the Oscars lack of diversity and even though almost 20 actors/actresses were nominated this year, diversity has not been fully achieved. As I’ve stated before, diversity is more than black and white. I would like to applaud the board of directors for the Academy for attempting to correct the problem but there is still more that needs to done.