Academy members are mad as hell about being called a bunch of racists and they’re not going to take it anymore.
The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite resurfaced after 2015’s nominees were announced earlier this month. The movement has given voice to a large group of angry critics who believe people of color are being snubbed by the Academy — not based on merit, but on race.
But the gripes don’t end there.
Out of 51 total members, the Academy has also taken fire for having only two non-white members. The fact that Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs is an African-American is buried, since it doesn’t fit the “racist” narrative.
Recent history shows A-list black actors Jamie Foxx, Forest Whittaker, Halle Berry and Denzel Washington winning Oscars, but today’s “gripers” who demand automatic inclusion based on race instead of talent could taint their amazing legacy.
Actress Penelope Ann Miller explained to the Hollywood Reporter that 2015 was an “incredibly competitive year.”
“I voted for a number of black performers, and I was sorry they weren’t nominated,” Miller told THR. “But to imply that this is because all of us are racists is extremely offensive.”
An anonymous member echoed that sentiment, saying that they voted for a “person of color” and are offended at the allegation of being deemed a racist. “Such a sweeping declaration is extremely irresponsible.”
In 2016, Academy members seem to agree that white membership plays a role in the types of movies being made, but the nominations are based on professional factors.
Jeremy Larner, a member of the writers branch, defended himself: “I have voted for many people of color,” he told THR. “I happen to think “Straight Outta Compton” is not a great film for reasons of structure and substance. 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.”
Remarkably, Miller went on to make a great point many conservatives have used with regard to the racial angst and division that has metastasized throughout the nation under the Obama administration.
“I think when you make race the issue, it can divide people even further, and that’s what I worry about,” Miller said.