In all five major categories this year, only one nominee (The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu) is not white. #OscarsSoWhite started trending on social media again this year, and huge stars openly criticized the Academy.
After all the backlash, Oscars president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a long statement about the lack of diversity in this year’s nominees and what the academy plans to do about it.
“I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees,” she said. “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.”
Boone Isaacs, the first African American to hold this office at the academy, added that they’re taking “dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership” and are conducting a review of their membership recruitment.
“This isn’t unprecedented for the Academy,” she continued. “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.”
This is too little too late for many stars like Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee who have vowed to boycott the Oscars this year. In a Facebook video Pinkett Smith explains her reasons for boycotting the Oscars. Her own husband, Will Smith, was arguably overlooked in the Best Actor category for his work in the award-winning film Concussion.
Women are also underrepresented this year. Of the 23 producers responsible for the eight movies in the Best Picture category, only seven are women. In the two screenplay categories, of the 17 nominees only four are women and there isn’t one racial minority.
So it comes as no surprise that Concussion isn’t the only diverse film to be snubbed.
Image credit: Warner Bros., Netflix, Universal