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2015 Oscar nominations spur criticisms

by AMY LASSITER Section Editor

One of the most anticipated award shows of the year, the Academy Awards, are scheduled to air on February 22; however, they are not without their controversy.

The 87th annual show holds less promise than past years partly due to unexciting films, but mostly due to the lack of diversity in nominations. Not only are all the best actor/actress nominees white, but every director nominated for an award is male, and only one is a person of color.

You may wonder why this is such an issue. After all, “12 Years a Slave” won an Oscar last year and, for the most part, the Academy has been diverse.

The lack of diversity in the Oscars, especially this year, is very troubling. After trending topics such as #ICantBreathe and #AllBlackLivesMatter, sensitivity on race issues is at an all time high. It has been nearly 30 years since this lack of diversity in nominations, and many are worried that this is a sign we are moving backwards.

“People of all races should be represented equally among every category of life, the Oscars included. Representation in the media is so important to all types of minorities. When the image of able-bodied white middle class characters are overtaking the media, people who deal with discrimination in normal life have no escape. They may even begin to wonder what’s wrong with them, and see that image as the only way to succeed. For obvious reasons, this is extremely toxic,” said junior Maggie Hancik.

Nominees include Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Bradely Cooper, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, Marion Cotillard, Reese Witherspoon, and Felicity Jones. While all of these performers are very talented and many deserve the nomination, it is still troubling that they all fit a certain standard.

Naturally, the online community created a hashtag for the news of the nominations and within minutes, #OscarsSoWhite was trending on Twitter.



Hopefully, this is not something we will see repeated in future nominations, but due to the Academy’s secretive nature, there is no way to know for sure.

“Honestly, the Oscars have always seemed really pretentious to me. People who are extremely talented always seem to be forgotten, and the winners don’t always deserve it. The fact that there’s no diversity whatsoever in 2015 is kind of sad and definitely proves my point,” says senior Meghna Desai.

The controversy that erupted got the attention of many media outlets, and people have been discussing the topic all over the internet. This may or may not make the Academy think on their decisions, but many hope it will.

“It’s really unfair that the academy consisted of mostly older, white men. I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was little and every year I see amazing movies and actors lose and it doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Not only will they lose, but most talented actors or color won’t even get nominated,” said junior Tory Talaga.

How do you feel a about the Oscar nominations? Are they problematic? Tell us below!

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