Congressman Calls Lack of Oscar Diversity ‘Troubling’ (Listen)

Congressman Calls Lack of Oscar Diversity
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Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said that the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar acting nominees is “troubling” because “for a lot of Americans it doesn’t reflect what we see in our daily lives.”

On Thursday, the caucus said that it would be conducting a series of roundtables on diversity in various industries, including entertainment, in the coming months.

All of this year’s nominees in the acting categories are white.

“I think it is troubling, not only for me and the Hispanic caucus, but for a lot of Americans, because it doesn’t reflect what we see in our daily lives,” Castro told Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “The country is incredibly diverse right now and growing even more diverse. Yet that is not reflected on screen or even behind the camera. We want to do what we can to try to change that, and work with the industry to try to change it.”

Castro did note that Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was nominated for “The Revenant,” but said that the overall lack of diversity among this year’s nominees list was “symptomatic of something greater.”

“Most people don’t know somebody who went off to Hollywood, to become a successful actor, to become a successful director, so some of it is a matter of seeing a trail that leads to that kind of success,” Castro said. “They also sit there and oftentimes don’t see themselves reflected on the screen, really in any kind of positive way… Latinos are not only in the service industry or are housekeepers, as my grandmother was. These are people who are living full lives in all kinds of jobs and professions, and that is just not represented in Hollywood.”

Listen below:

More of the interview here.

“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.

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  1. flosse says:

    Sorry, but what an idiot! The Oscars is about honoring achievements in different categories and the nominees are decided on by the different branches of experts from that field. It is NOT about representing society!!!

    And at least I do not go to the movies to see my daily life. I go there to be entertained for 2 hours, I go there to be transported to fantasy lands where every female attorney and coroner looks super sexy and where trained cops and criminals shoot 20 rounds at each other without ever hitting the other one, where criminals are easily spotted and where justice is done.

    Usually, I do sympathize with the Democrats, but sometimes they are just stupid douche bags.

  2. loco73 says:

    I find the fixation of Ted Cruz…errr sorry…Marco Rubio…errr sorry…Fidel Castro, (yep…nailed it, nailed that name!!!) on this issue quite troubling! He is a representative in the US Congress. I would think he has more important issues and laws to attend to…but I guess not?!

    On a more serious not can we please stop, when using that moniker OscarsSoWhite…or whatever the hell that is…use the pictures of this year’s nominees to illustrate the issue. Is it their fault that things are as they stand?! Those pictures are used almost as “wanted” posters. They haven’t contributed to the status quo.

    For that look at the studio heads, the producers and look at the structural and systemic problems that exist within the Academy. But that would entail an actual effort, a thought process and hard work. Nope it is easier to get outraged and then bitch and moan on various social media platforms and upload videos on YouTube..

  3. The lack of minority representation in films is more than obvious, but as mentioned, more symptomatic of a larger behind the scenes problem , in that the industry is not hiring people of color, and that means Hispanics, American Indian, Asian or African Americans., in jobs that can lead to Green Lighting a movie. Those jobs have historically been held by whites. There lies the conundrum, because whites tend to make white movies, that are not representative of the fabric of America. Minorities on the other hand feel underserved, missing and deprived of the social make-up of what is called the American Dream.

    • flosse says:

      I have to disagree with your argument that white people make white movies. Hollywood makes whatever sells. Full Stop. If movies starring black leads sell, they will do them. If people flock into movies about Hispanic shop-keepers, they will do a trilogy on them.
      Many of the original studio heads were Jewish. Did we have a large number of Jewish themed movies in the past? Do studios run by females produce a different kind of movies?

      Again, Hollywood produces what promises to earn money. Right now it is comicbooks, some time ago it was western movies, action thrillers or horror movies. That is the reason why we always have duelling pictures about the same story, three musketeers, Robin Hood, all kinds of movies based on Young Adult novels, mainly dystopian novels.

      If we look at the list of bankable Latino or black stars, the list is quite short. Hardly any of these can open a movie.

    • savvysearch says:

      I just don’t buy that we need more diversity behind the cameras before we can get more diversity on screen. The viewers have enough pull to dictate what we want to see on screen. Most roles are non-race specific. How difficult is it to not assume the character should be white and hire an Asian actor for that role?

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