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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Women of Western: #Oscarssowhite

By Alyssa Evans

2016 marks the second year in a row that no acting Oscar nominees are people of color.

This year highlights a consistently weak history of diversity within the Oscars, as shown in the video below.

The lack of equal representation has sparked an array of reactions, even resulting in a boycott of the award show.

Several actors have spoken out against the show, calling for change:

While on the other side of the controversy, some actors felt that the show’s lack of diverse representation wasn’t an issue worth focusing on:

On the subject, actor Michael Caine advised black actors to be patient, while actress Charlotte Rampling called the Oscar boycott racist to whites.

The controversy also made its way into Twitter, resulting in users discussing their views on the topic:

This year’s Oscar controversy has showcased the lack of black actors within the history of the award show, but other minorities are also being excluded.

In 1973, actor Marlon Brando refused the Best Actor award in protest of Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans. Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather calmly accepted the award on Brando’s behalf only to be booed by the audience and have no change be made.

Sophomore Makenzie Buller, a music major, finds the organization to be more accepting of white men rather than women and minorities.

“I think it’s just harder for women and people of color, just in general. It’s almost like they have to prove it more that they’re worth the nomination, whereas with the standard white male, it’s much easier,” Buller said. 

A recent announcement was made by the Academy stating that a unanimous vote will result in future changes to improve diversity within the organization. The Academy hopes to double the number of female and minority members by 2020.

Is The Academy’s reaction too little, too late? This year marks the 88th ceremony of the Oscars, meaning that it has taken 88 years for the organization to strive for more equal representation. Will making The Academy board more diverse result in change, or will the ceremony continue to be a celebration focused primarily on white actors?

What do you think about #OscarsSoWhite? Let The Western Front know by tweeting @TheFrontOnline.

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