The Oscars debate

I have got to admit I am quite shocked that in 2016 we still have so much resistance to the idea of diversity. How on Earth is there only white actors and actresses nominated? Well lets look at the academy, the writing, the casting and how acting as a profession is portrayed to non white people, even working class people to an extent. All of this creates an atmosphere that makes it near impossible for any one who isn’t white to get nominated, even if you get a job it probably won’t have enough emotional range or ‘Oscar bait’-ness about it to get noticed but even if it does you probably won’t get the nomination because some little darling will have a role with emotional range too and they will get the nod.

To clarify, all the actors and actresses nominated gave phenomenal performances but I am simply astonished that for a second year no actors of an ethnic minority have been nominated. What infuriates me most is that actors/actresses are doing this! They are voting for only white people as a majority! Acting should not be about colour or class, we should want to create as diverse a mix of people as possible because that creates the best world. Artists should be pushing for change more than anyone I think, we should be able to see past all the political bullshit and say you are a person who is talented. Why are actors shooting themselves in the foot by not creating a diverse representation and inspiring a diverse future for the arts?

I don’t think the world should be colour blind, celebrate each others cultures and bask in the beauty of each other, but ‘colour blind casting’ (as much as I hate saying that term) may help in some ways as actors will start getting roles less because of their skin tone and more for their talent. If people start writing roles with no gender or race assigned then the world will open up so much more to so many exciting possibilities. Why are they remaking ‘Ghost busters’ with an all female cast instead of putting money into a female screen writer who has written a film about women? They are doing this because they know the story works, people will go see it because they like Ghost busters the women are just a fucking novelty. Why do we only seem to talk about black actors not being represented? What about the Asian performers? Or the Native Americans who are constantly sidelined or portrayed in film as one dimensional? I have missed out a lot of other minority performers that are ignored or pushed aside but this post will go on all day. Maybe I just haven’t seen films that are diverse or actually create real people but that is because they are almost fucking impossible to find in any form in mainstream cinema. I saw The Revenant recently and they showed a small small view of what happened to the Native Americans when foreigners showed up but in the film only the French did it, the ‘bad’ American was played by a Brit and the only good American played by a Brit was shot. The world is making small changes but still we are so bloody far behind where we should be.

This is a long rant that deserves a lot more thought but quite frankly I just want to be angry right now. I am getting so frustrated that the creative world is being reflected so poorly by such a well established and public representative of our industry. Our world is an exciting colourful play filled with people that all have a different story, the artistic world should reflect this not marginalise performers just because they aren’t seen as white enough.

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6 thoughts on “The Oscars debate

  1. Auditions at Drama Schools

    Wow, thank you Louise for your wonderful post, you’ve expressed what many of us feel by pointing out this outrageous and plain inequality. I was particularly disappointed that an institution as respected as the Academy Awards could, today in our “modern” era, simply ignore the great work that has been generated by outstanding actors such as Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, or Benicio Del Toro, just to mention a few names. I think the nominees of this year all did an incredible job, and proved again how incredible the process of creation through acting is, but we mustn’t be inert in front of inequality and we should speak out against it, as you amazingly did.
    Good night to you dear!

    1. Hello,
      sorry for the late reply had a hectic week. I couldn’t agree more, while the Academy isn’t the be all and end all the fact that an institution so looked up to isn’t leading change is sad and inexcusable. At least with the few changes they are making there may be a few steps forward now everyone else needs to exceed those and keep making improvements.
      Thank you for reading and commenting and I hope you have had a great week.
      Louise

    1. Hello again,
      I don’t believe the BAFTAs are sadly. Most award ceremonies are mostly white because most of the roles that are ‘awards bait’ are cast as white. The awards ceremonies are the biggest problem, the problems come from casting, writing and marketing. All of those things affect what the audience sees and therefore what the voters see. This also directly influences who will be the next generation of performers. If you don’t see people who look like you or are like you in colour, sexuality or age then why would you try when t is clear you won’t succeed? We need to diversify so that the industry can grow and develop.
      Thanks,
      Louise

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