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Oscar Diversity Debate


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For the second year in a row, all major acting nominations included no minorities.

It's caused a bit of an uproar where people are calling for boycotts. Will Smith and his wife will not be attending, People are calling for the host, Chris Rock to boybott the event. I think calling for Rock to boycott is counterproductive.

http://www.people.com/article/oscar-diversity-not-just-will-smith

I think the bigger debate for the Oscars is why they don't seem to want to nominate movies that people actually want to see. Star Wars and Jurassic World only got technical and special effects nominations.

I only really see 3 movies in question. Straight Outta Compton, Creed and Concussion.

I didn't see Concussion, but it didn't do well in theatres. Should Will Smith pretending to be African automatically get him a nomination? Perhaps but it's hardly a reason for calls to boycott.

I've seen parts of Straight Outta Compton, it's a compelling movie, but I can't say any of the acting was stellar.

Now Sly Stallone got a nomination for reprising his Rocky role in Creed. I hear it's a good movie, but again should the main actor Michael B Jordan get a nomination because of his race? Again perhaps.

I think maybe the composition of the Academy should, perhaps, be modernized for what movies the current generations like. I think the success of Madd Maxx: Fury Road shows progress there. But it's their show, they can nominate who they want. Many minority actors HAVE won in previous years. I think this is looking for racism where it isn't though.

Edited by Boges
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I didn't see Concussion, but it didn't do well in theatres. Should Will Smith pretending to be African automatically get him a nomination? Perhaps but it's hardly a reason for calls to boycott.

It was not a gigantic turd, but mediocre would be a generous assessment.

Smith has a major problem called Will Smith. He does only vanity projects in which he appears in every scene. His talent has long been subordinated by his ego. He needs somebody in his life to explain reality to him, and to take roles that are better in movies that are not about himself. The new Eddie Murphy.

Another really sad case for the last decade: Robert de Niro. He seems intent on devaluing a really good career.

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It was not a gigantic turd, but mediocre would be a generous assessment.

Smith has a major problem called Will Smith. He does only vanity projects in which he appears in every scene. His talent has long been subordinated by his ego. He needs somebody in his life to explain reality to him, and to take roles that are better in movies that are not about himself. The new Eddie Murphy.

Another really sad case for the last decade: Robert de Niro. He seems intent on devaluing a really good career.

Actually that's not true. He's in the coming DC Suicide Squad movie as a villain called Deadshot. Not the headline role of the movie.

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Actually that's not true. He's in the coming DC Suicide Squad movie as a villain called Deadshot. Not the headline role of the movie.

In "Suicide Squad", the villains are the heroes. Deadshot will end up being the headline role of the movie, because it's Will Smith.

The trailers look pretty good, though.

-k

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Is the issue here that there were great performances by minority actors that were overlooked?

Or is the real issue that there just aren't very many movies being made with good roles for minority actors to portray?

Or is it a little of both?

-k

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Lol, I find it all funny, there is no white privilege. Nope.

Jews disproportionately get Nobel Prizes. Must be Jew Privilege.

Asians disproportionately get into good universities like Berkeley. Must be Asian Privilege.

Blacks disproportionately get into the NBA. Must be Black Privilege.

Etc.

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In "Suicide Squad", the villains are the heroes. Deadshot will end up being the headline role of the movie, because it's Will Smith.

The trailers look pretty good, though.

-k

Not when you have a movie with The Joker and Harley Quinn in it.

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Not when you have a movie with The Joker and Harley Quinn in it.

I suspect it'll end up being Will Smith as "the guy who just wants to get the job done and go home" vs Jared Leto as "the guy who wants to take the mission completely off the rails and cause as much chaos and destruction as possible", with everybody else being bit-parts. I suspect the trailers feature Harley prominently because she's totes adorbs and the producers know the character is a big fan favorite and Margot Robbie is totally hot right now, but when the movie comes out she'll just be eye candy and we've already seen most of her speaking parts in the trailers. That's my hunch anyway.

But that's totally off topic, because Harley and Mr J are absurdly white, even by white-people standards, and the thread is supposed to be about diversity! Suicide Squad looks highly diverse, with two African Americans, one Hispanic American, one Asian American, and two Clown Americans.

Regarding the lack of Oscar nominations for non-white people... I think one factor is that nominations in major categories tend to go to a "certain type of movie". Prestige pictures of various descriptions. High-brow movies. Historical dramas. And that sort of thing. And with the movie business being so American, the primary interest interest in prestige dramas about non-white characters tends to be focused on a pretty narrow list of topics: the civil rights movement, slavery, and possibly the Civil War. We had Selma recently, and 12 Years a Slave recently, and the public probably just isn't in a mood for another big movie on those topics yet.

-k

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Actually that's not true. He's in the coming DC Suicide Squad movie as a villain called Deadshot. Not the headline role of the movie.

Maybe he took my advice before he got it.

But he has had a long, long series of crappy movies about himself.

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There's shouldn't be any quotas in art.

Will Smith is a terrible actor, he can blame the Oscars he doesn't have on whatever he wants, he'll still be a shitty actor.

Hollywood is the world of white and jewish men.

Straight Outta Compton was a good movie though. Best movie nominee? Who knows, I haven't seen all the other nor will I.

The Academy members could bother to have a bit more diversity though, to be more representative of the population. But who gives a crap, the Oscars kinda suck anyways. All award shows do. Art is subjective, not a competition.

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Regarding the lack of Oscar nominations for non-white people... I think one factor is that nominations in major categories tend to go to a "certain type of movie". Prestige pictures of various descriptions.

Yes. I don't understand their obsession with a 'certain kind of movie'.

Personally, I don't care about the oscars, no idea why so many people do.

Maybe we should replace the oscars with a computer algorithm that determines the best movie based upon a large number of online metrics. Maybe use principle component analysis or something. I'm sure if you got a bunch of computer programmers to work on it for a bit they would come up with something decent. Maybe google can do it.

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Is the issue here that there were great performances by minority actors that were overlooked?

Or is the real issue that there just aren't very many movies being made with good roles for minority actors to portray?

Or is it a little of both?

-k

The complaint is both. The complaint is that the Academy is mostly made up of old white guys who are unlikely to ever see a movie like Straight out of Compton, even if the performances were the best in history, so would never vote for them. It's also that black actors aren't being cast in much other than crime dramas. But as has been pointed out, Hispanics have it worse, and women over forty are pretty much unseen except in special roles.

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Maybe we should replace the oscars with a computer algorithm that determines the best movie based upon a large number of online metrics.

Or maybe they could let a privately funded organization do whatever they want and people who don't share the opinions of the academy can look to other sources for guidance on what movies are worth seeing. Edited by TimG
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Or maybe they could let a privately funded organization do whatever they want and people who don't share the opinions of the academy can look to other sources for guidance on what movies are worth seeing.

Very well said!!!

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The complaint is both. The complaint is that the Academy is mostly made up of old white guys who are unlikely to ever see a movie like Straight out of Compton, even if the performances were the best in history, so would never vote for them.

Yeah, that seems to be an issue. Perhaps it explains their fixation on "a certain type of movie".

It's also that black actors aren't being cast in much other than crime dramas. But as has been pointed out, Hispanics have it worse, and women over forty are pretty much unseen except in special roles.

Hispanics, and Asians, and Native Americans, and pretty much anybody who isn't either white or black...

But it's an American business, and in America "diversity" seems to be code for "needs more black people."

-k

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Or maybe they could let a privately funded organization do whatever they want and people who don't share the opinions of the academy can look to other sources for guidance on what movies are worth seeing.

Well yes the privately funded org can do whatever it wants, and the public can say whatever it wants about said org and support or not support it however it wants, and the org will respond in kind however it wants.

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Hispanics, and Asians, and Native Americans, and pretty much anybody who isn't either white or black...

But it's an American business, and in America "diversity" seems to be code for "needs more black people."

The people that make up the Academy could probably due for some more diversity beyond old white men.

On the other hand, only 16% of the US population is black, and the film industry isn't 100% American, there are many British, Canadian, Australian etc. actors and filmmakers and these countries have far fewer blacks than the US, so people have to consider that the Oscars will always be dominated by white nominees and white movies made for a predominantly white western audience.

The Golden Globes 2016 were dominated by white actors and no black movies. Only 2 black actors nominated in film. Will Smith was nominated for a GG but didn't get a Oscar nomination, so his ass his chapped and his screaming "racism". Will Smith is a crappy actor, maybe he should factor that in too.

Edited by Moonlight Graham
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Or maybe they could let a privately funded organization do whatever they want and people who don't share the opinions of the academy can look to other sources for guidance on what movies are worth seeing.

At first glance, yeah, they're a private organization and they can do whatever they want.

But why do people care about the Oscars in the first place? The Academy Awards are a big deal because some portion of the public believes they have some credibility in judging the best movies and performances. And it's a big celebrity event because it has some degree of prestige.

They can do what they want, but if they screw up sufficiently that they lose the pretense that their awards have merit or that there's some amount of prestige attached to them, it would cease to be a big cash-cow for them, and cease to be a significant marketing tool for the movie studios.

Personally I can't waste 4 hours of my life watching an awards show, but check the list afterward to see if any movies or actors I like won awards. I wouldn't go see a movie based on Oscar nominations. "Precious had 6 nominations! It's the story of an illiterate morbidly obese teen suffering abuse at the hands of her horrible mother!" Would I see that? No! It sounds utterly depressing. Why would I see that, no matter how many Oscar nominations it gets? On the other hand I do like it when movies I like get recognition... it feels like my choices have been validated.

-k

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