White academy members try to defend themselves against #OscarsSoWhite backlash

01.20.16 3 years ago

We've heard from several prominent people of color (and Janet Hubert) about the all-white Oscar acting nominees. Now, I guess, we have to hear from the defensive white people who voted for those nominees.

The Hollywood Reporter let a few Academy members give their side of the story, unchallenged. Actress Penelope Ann Miller, whose upcoming projects got a plug in the magazine, said she “voted for a number of black performers” and finds it “extremely offensive” to be considered racist because actors of color didn't get enough votes from other people.

“I don't want to be lumped into the category of being a racist,” she said. That sentiment was echoed by a member of the Academy who asked to remain anonymous (brave!), who said: “I'm very offended by the idea that some people are calling us racists … Such a sweeping declaration is extremely irresponsible.”

Yeah, guys, it must suck to have people make generalizations about you based on a group you happen to be a part of. I wonder who else knows what that feels like?

Miller added that there are a lot of white people who didn't get nominations, either: “I'm sure Michael Keaton is bummed, you know?”

Yes, of all the overlooked white people, she chose the one who was nominated for an Oscar just last year. 

 Jeremy Larner, who won an Oscar for best original screenplay in 1972 for “The Candidate,” said that he has “voted for many people of color for awards,” which is fast becoming the “some of my best friends are black!” excuse for this whole thing. But it doesn't sound like he voted for “Straight Outta Compton” (which was nominated for best screenplay … and was written by two white people), saying: “I can imagine it is a powerful affirmation for those who share the assumptions of its music and see it as fans. But to me, a good film has to show a lot more than this one does.” Oh.

Larner is a 78-year-old white man. In late 2013, the Los Angeles Times determined that the Academy's membership was 93 percent white, 76 percent male, and had an average age of 63.

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