And the nom­i­nees are …white

De­spite last year’s back­lash over a lack of di­ver­sity, Os­cars again over­look black di­rec­tors, ac­tors

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE - By Jo­ce­lyn Noveck

the tal­ent, to al­low it to flour­ish and to give us all the di­ver­sity of sto­ry­telling which is what the mo­tion pic­ture busi­ness is all about.”

There was wide­spread sur­prise that the lack of di­ver­sity per­sisted de­spite the huge back­lash a year ago when all act­ing nom­i­nees were white and there was only one di­rec­tor of colour, Ale­jan­dro Iñár­ritu (also nom­i­nated Thurs­day). The omis­sions that caused the most con­ster­na­tion in­volved the lauded civil rights drama Selma; both its di­rec­tor, Ava DuVer­nay, and its star, David Oyelowo, were snubbed.

“It’s busi­ness as usual at the academy,” said Gil Robert­son, pres­i­dent of the African-Amer­i­can Film Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion, on Thurs­day. “We’ll have to try again. Af­ter the whole de­ba­cle with Selma and Ava DuVer­nay, you would have thought some lessons would have been learned. Noth­ing for Will Smith. Noth­ing for Idris Elba. Irony of ironies, the only ac­tor who re­ceived a nom­i­na­tion for Creed is white.” (He was re­fer­ring to Sylvester Stal­lone, who got a nod for sup­port­ing ac­tor for repris­ing his role as Rocky Bal­boa.)

Many tweeted their dis­ap­proval on Thurs­day.

“I love @TheSlyStal­lone,” wrote in­die di­rec­tor Joe Car­na­han, “but Michael B. Jor­dan, Tessa Thomp­son & Ryan Coogler don’t get noms for CREED!? Come on Academy.”

“Zero non­white ac­tors have been nom­i­nated for Os­cars,” tweeted the Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val. “There’s no ex­cuse.”

Comp­ton scored a screen­play nod, and one if its nom­i­nated writ­ers said she sees hope for change on the di­ver­sity is­sue in Hol­ly­wood. “I was ac­tu­ally at a town hall meet­ing on di­ver­sity last night, and I think it’s an ex­cit­ing time to be hav­ing this con­ver­sa­tion in Hol­ly­wood,” said writer An­drea Berloff. “It is not be­ing ig­nored, and there’s a lot of us work­ing at a more grass­roots level to try to turn the tides.”

Berloff added that there was a key pos­i­tive note for women in the nom­i­na­tions list: four women nom­i­nated for their screen­plays this year.

“That’s a huge suc­cess,” Berloff said, “and I hope we can re­ally take the time to cel­e­brate. It’s a huge vic­tory.” As­so­ci­ated Press writ­ers Michael Cidoni Len­nox and Sandy Co­hen in Los An­ge­les and Jake Coyle in New York con­trib­uted

to this re­port.


Will Smith in Con­cus­sion.


Idris Elba in Beasts of No Na­tion.

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