Amid backdrop of Black Lives Matter protests, and 5 years after #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Motion Picture Academy to make "new representation and inclusion standards" part of Oscar consideration.
Oscars season is that time where Hollywood excessively glams up and describes to eager media types who they’re wearing and why.
The 2017 Academy Award nominations have been announced and, as expected, Damien Chazelle’s wonderful musical ‘La La Land’ leads the pack with a record-equalling 14 nominations, with ‘Arrival’ and ‘Moonlight’ just behind it with eight nods each. As ever many of the nominations were expected, with Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis all receiving acting nominations, but what about the surprises?
As the Oscar-granting organization makes a push for more diversity, it reaches out to the largest number of new members ever.
The low ratings for this year’s Oscars show were down to the boycotts and the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, civil rights leaders have claimed. This year’s event, hosted by Chris Rock, was watched by 34.3 million people, the lowest figure in eight years for the annual awards beano, and down three million from last year. The reverend Al Sharpton, who urged people to switch off on Sunday night has claimed a victory from the numbers.
It’s finally over – the 88th Academy Awards have wrapped up, DiCaprio and pals have collected their awards and the world can go back to pretending they don’t care about the Oscars. After the recent #OscarsSoWhite controversy, it was obvious that Chris Rock would have plenty to say on the matter… and it seems that particular topic provided him the perfect way to skewer his celebrity audience. “I understand you’re mad,” he said about those who chose to boycott this year’s Oscars.
While some in Hollywood debated whether Chris Rock should drop out as host of this year’s Oscar telecast as repudiation of the award’s grievous lack of non-white nominees, count Angela Bassett as being firmly in favor of the star comedian taking the stage on Sunday night. “I’m supportive of the host this year,” Bassett, who costars in the upcoming action sequel London Has Fallen, told Yahoo Movies. Bassett, who was nominated in 1994 for her performance as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?, says she won’t be attending the ceremony this year, but she’s very interested in watching it on television.
The magazine’s latest issue features a cover illustration by cartoonist, illustrator and screenwriter, Daniel Clowes… and it clearly takes aim at the recent controversy surrounding the lack of racial diversity at the Academy Awards. Of course, social media users were outraged at the lack of racial diversity – sparking the now infamous Twitter hashtag – but the real blow came when a number of high-profile actors and directors decided to speak out. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, along with Michael Moore and Spike Lee rather publically revealed that they would protest by not attending the Oscars ceremony.
It looks as though Will Smith is ‘pleased’ with the Academy response to #OscarsSoWhite. During an interview with BBC News, the 47-year-old actor explained that he’s ‘very pleased’ with how ‘quickly and aggressively’ the Academy responded to outcry over lack of diversity at this year’s Oscars. Of course, Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith have been at the centre of the diversity controversy since the Academy announced this year’s Oscar nominees.
It looks as though Kevin Hart isn’t impressed with comments about his choice of films. “When are black celebs like @KevinHart4real and @MarlonWayans gonna stop doing stereotypical movies?” said one Twitter user. The 36-year-old actor currently stars in comedy sequel ‘Ride Along 2’… and Marlon Wayans appears in upcoming parody, ‘Fifty Shades of Black’ which lampoons the erotic drama, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.
The #OscarsSoWhite controversy has garnered comment far and wide - and now the President of the United States himself has spoken out on the matter. Obama said, “I think that California is an example of the incredible diversity of this country. “I think the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue.
Fox Searchlight has reportedly acquired the rights to Sundance Film Festival favourite ‘The Birth of a Nation’ as part of a record-breaking deal. The biopic tells the story of Nat Turner - who led the most successful slave rebellion in US history in the state of Virginia in 1831. Interestingly, the film is being directed by first-time director Nate Parker, who also wrote the script with Jean McGianni Celestin, is a producer and is its leading man, playing the role of Turner.
British acting legend Sir Ian McKellan has shown his support for diversity at the Academy Awards… but says it’s not just black actors who are affected. During an interview with Sky News, the 76-year-old actor explained that he has ‘sympathy’ for black actors, but that gay actors are also being ‘disregarded’. Of course, the lack of diversity in Hollywood has been highlighted recently after the official Oscar nominations were announced… revealing that there were no black (or ethnic minority) actors in any of the top categories.
Milton Justice, who helmed ‘Down and Out in America’, which won the Oscar in 1986, and is a member of the Academy’s documentary branch, has penned a searing indictment of the row in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m also shocked at the presumption of the president of the Academy to meet with David Oyelowo to explain to him 'what went wrong’ because he wasn’t nominated last year for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma.
Oscars host Chris Rock will still host the annual awards show but will be rewriting his opening speech after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. There’s been an uneasy divide in Hollywood over the last week, after not a single actor of colour received an Oscar nomination for the upcoming awards ceremony, igniting debate suggesting there was a severe lack of diversity in the film industry. Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin revealed that Rock will continue as host and tweak his planned speech.
Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling has weighed in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy by suggesting Spike Lee’s proposed Oscars 2016 boycott over the lack of black actors amongst the nominees is “racist against white people”. Rampling, herself nominated in Best Supporting Actress for ‘45 Years’, was asked by French radio station Europe 1 whether she understood why Lee was angry about the lack of black nominees. Rampling says, in French, but translated: “No, I think that’s… it’s… that goes in the other direction.
Will Smith has confirmed that he will boycott this year’s Academy Awards ceremony due to the controversy regarding the lack of diversity among nominees. Smith has been nominated twice in the Best Actor category (in 2002 for 'Ali’ and 2007 for 'The Pursuit of Happiness’) and lost out on both occasions to a fellow black actor - Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker.
Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore will boycott this year’s Oscars. The 61-year-old documentary filmmaker has spoken out about Hollywood’s ‘white-dominated’ culture… which he claims has led to the omission of black actors and directors at the awards for the second year in a row. During an interview with The Wrap, Moore addressed the lack of black actors in this year’s Oscar nominations… and stated that he plans to join the boycott, which continues to gather steam.
Spike Lee is refusing to attend this year’s Academy Awards because, for the second year in a row, all the acting nominees are white. The 58-year-old filmmaker is rightly appalled at the lack of diversity amongst this year’s nominations… and the fact that this is the second year in a row has proved just too much for Spike Lee to take. “Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy,“ said Spike Lee via Instagram.
It looks as though 2016 isn’t the year for black actors or directors. In the run up to the 2016 Oscar nominations, we saw a wide variety of contenders such as Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael B. Jordan, Jason Mitchell, Will Smith, Tessa Thompson, and Benicio Del Toro tipped for nominations by the critics.