The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag started when nominees for the Oscars were revealed, however the longstanding problem in the academy is nothing new. The ‘Selma snub’, as people have called it now, created even more of a stir, as many believed directer Ava DuVernay deserved a ‘Best Director’ nomination.
If you think the awards are only given to those with talent is to allow yourself to be blinded by the glitz and glitter the awards are made out to be. These statistics speak for themselves. From Huffpost: “Since the first Academy Awards were held in 1929, just 7 percent of winners in the Best Actor category have been black men. Halle Berry’s 2002 win for her performance in “Monster’s Ball” made her the first black woman to win the Best Actress award. There has not yet been a second.”
A voting system is used to choose the winners, which seems a democratic way of doing things. Therefore In a country of diversity, a voting panel will surely reflect that too? Wrong! According to International Business Times, “The Oscar winners are voted on by members of the academy, and there are 6,028 voting members; 94 percent of them are white, 77 percent are men and 86 percent are over the age of 50.”
Change is obviously necessary, and it starts by acknowledging and celebrating the people and women of colour who continue to create in this otherwise hostile environment.
Below are the women who graced the 2015 Oscars red carpet with their presence and shone: