Somehow the only Oscar nomination for ‘Straight Outta Compton’ went to white people

01.14.16 2 years ago

Another year, another insanely white group of Oscar nominees. Second verse, same as the first. Only worse. ‘How?” you ask? Oh man, let”s break this down.

For 2014, the Academy Awards failed to nominate a single actor of color in any category. In fact, this handy graph from IBT show it was one of the whitest years at the Oscars ever…until this year.

If you think perhaps there just weren”t any actors of color deserving of a nominations this year, allow this this fantastic Daily Beast article to elaborate why that”s malarky. From Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation” to Michael B Jordan and Ryan Coogler in “Creed” to Will Smith in “Concussion,” the talent was there. As for women, Marielle Heller (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”) stands out. And perhaps the field of options would be larger if women made up more than 9% of directors last year.

But these – along with the overwhelmingly old, white, and male make-up of the Academy – is old news.

The new (terrible) news? The Academy reached a record low when they nominated “Straight Outta Compton” for Best Original Screenplay. On its face, this seems like a step forward, as the film is about people of color. The problem? As Fusion writer Charles Pulliam points out, the screenwriters – Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff – are white.

So the ONLY nomination for a feature length film* about people of color this year goes to white people. If that”s not an on-the-nose analogy of the problem within the awards circuit, I don”t know what is.

* “Sanjay”s Super Team” is nominated for Best Short Film and several Best Documentary nominees focus on people of color.

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