And the nominees are …white
Despite last year’s backlash over a lack of diversity, Oscars again overlook black directors, actors
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.