In case you missed it yesterday, the 2016 Oscar nominees have been announced. Which means that the annual conversation about the lack of diversity has begun.
It’s not exactly surprising that this year’s nominees are once again, predominantly white (and that’s putting it kindly). As far as I know, there wasn’t a coup this past year, during which the white, male, and over 60 majority that makes up the Academy was replaced by a diverse group of voters. I also didn’t read anything about that same majority suddenly finding that they really identify with films about characters that aren’t white and male.
Basically, the Academy isn’t changing its ways any time soon. Not because they’re bad, willfully ignorant, sexist racists, but because they vote for films that speak to them. Which tends to be experiences that they can relate to. There’s nothing inherently racist about it, but it does lead to a shocking lack of diversity.
However, we should take heart in the fact that it will change, eventually. While you’ll read a lot to the contrary, there’s overwhelming evidence that as a whole we’ve improved the cultural mindset when it comes to including and accepting others who are different from the “norm”(whatever that is).
Eventually, those self-aware individuals who see the value of acknowledging and appreciating those whose experiences are different from their own will gain the majority or even win over some of the existing majority (it could happen). It just takes time.
That being said, it doesn’t mean the annoyance at their choices should stop. The shortcomings can’t be corrected if no one ever points them out. Just keep in mind that while the Academy Awards are prestigious and hold some sway on public opinion, at the end of the day they don’t reflect the views of the majority of the viewing public. So that’s something to take heart in.
“There is nothing wrong with a man being a feminist, I think it is to our mutual advantage.”