Academy President ‘Heartbroken and Frustrated’ Over Lack of Diversity in Oscars

Oscars' Diversity Problem: Academy President Issues
Sasha Don/Variety

Following days of backlash after the Academy unveiled an all-white roster of acting nominees for the 2016 Oscars last Thursday, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a statement Monday night addressing the controversy, and detailing an effort to help fix the issue.

“I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees,” she wrote. “While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership.  In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.”

“As many of you know, we have implemented changes to diversify our membership in the last four years,” she went on. “But the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly. This isn’t unprecedented for the Academy. In the ‘60s and ‘70s it was about recruiting younger members to stay vital and relevant. In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. We recognize the very real concerns of our community, and I so appreciate all of you who have reached out to me in our effort to move forward together.”

The statement comes the same day that Spike Lee called for a boycott of the Oscars because of the lack of inclusion, after Jada Pinkett Smith (whose husband Will Smith was shut out for his performance in “Concussion”) also publicly called for action.

This is the second year in a row that the Academy has failed to nominate an actor of color for the Oscars. Many expected Smith’s performance in “Concussion,” Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson’s roles in “Creed,” Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation” and/or any of the actors from “Straight Out of Compton” to be singled out for nods, but instead, all-white actresses and actors were nominated.

“We Cannot Support It And Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy. But, How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White?,” “Chi-Raq” director Lee wrote on his Instagram page Monday morning.

Despite the controversy, Academy members remained mum up until Isaacs’ statement. Even host Chris Rock commented on the lack of diversity, calling the Oscars “the White BET Awards” on Twitter.

The 88th Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 28 and air live on ABC.

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  1. Dan says:

    How is it that there isn’t an issue until the black community makes this an issue.
    All this is done is create animosity within a peaceful crowd. I wish everyone would stop. All sides of race. All.

  2. Daryl Nordhoff says:

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  3. Gerald Helwig says:

    Just so sick of hearing black people cry so damn much. Get over it black people and work for your own achievements don’t cry for them to be handed to you. Blacks are given every opportunity white people are so shut up and stop crying

  4. Abby Piper says:

    Here is a thought. What if there just were not any oscar worthy performances the past two years???? And with all these changes in membership… what if there are no oscar worthy performances next year???? I would think a performer would want to know they nominated because they were THAT good… no just because they were black. Be careful what you wish for.

  5. dantheman says:

    The horn news did an actual analysis of the representation of black actors in major roles, oscar nominations and wins and found that the 13% of US population which self identifies as black wins damn close to 13% of major roles, nominations and wins.
    But don’t let the facts get in the way of Spike stacking the academy with his buddies on the way to some more Oscars now he’s tasted chrome…

  6. Sheila says:

    Why don’t we acknowledge the real elephant in the room – FAT PEOPLE. You will NEVER see an overweight person – of any race – in a leading actress or actor nomination. Precious was the precious exception to that rule. If we want to discuss true discrimination then we have to address the lack of diversity in body shape, physical abilities: blind, deaf, limb-deprived (or however you politically correctly term that condition), etc. Now those groups are truly discriminated against. And when they are cast in films or their stories told, it’s always an Indie film and then the commentary is “How brave” and “What a human journey”. And even when mental illness is addressed – it’s Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper representing the issue. They still have to be slender, good-looking, and beddable. Total, utter crap are the Oscars. And P.S. BUY YOUR OWN DRESSES, you spoiled brats.

  7. Oscar Viewer says:

    Ms. Boone-Isaacs – who has had a most impressive career – should really focus more on promoting the motion picture art form, and not on political agendas. She comes off as being a tad “Schoolmarm-ish”, rapping the knuckles of her student body (Academy members). If I were fortunate enough to be a member of this august organization, I would feel outraged by her patronizing tone.

  8. Jack Monte says:

    Mikey Jordan didn’t deserve a nom. I will bet that even if Cheryl Issacs has a diverse staff or even all black, that her staff is connected and continues the Hollywood nepotism machine rolling along. New blood means new blood from the ground up.

  9. LJ says:

    I appreciate Cheryls comments and intention. But I would like to know what specifically is planned, starting with how/when the Academy will diversity their own board of governors (perhaps with a diverse board, sustained and real change can start to happen).

  10. Daniel says:

    And, if films are the stuff of dreams, maybe white men don´t want diversity in their world. Maybe it´s evident that they don´t see other races as part of their lives and inspirations in their failed multi-cultural world.

  11. Daniel says:

    Like most presidents, Boone Isaacs is ultimately, powerless.

    • Scorpio 8 says:

      Gee, hockey, football, and baseball are sports, and white people play those sports. And there are PLENTY of white rappers charting. White people can act? According to whom, white people? LOL!

  12. auburntigers34 says:

    Maybe the academy needs a black, female president. Oh wait….

  13. White People cant play Sports or Rap Black people cant Act or Play Hockey what else is new

  14. harry georgatos says:

    There’s just no Oscar worthy black movies this year. The only true contender that was overlooked was BEASTS OF NO NATIONS! CONCUSSION, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, CREED are good standard films but definitely not Oscar worthy. Jada Pinkett Smith volatile temper in her husband not getting an Oscar nod is ludicrous. Smith gives a standard performance but not one to be in consideration for the top award. Smith is a limited actor and doesn’t have a wide range of acting skills.

    There are indie films with black actors that give better nuanced performances that continually get overlooked year in and year out. Black actors have it better then Hispanic actors. Black actors have it better then Native American actors. And Black actors have it better then Asian actors who only get cast in actions films or some non-important supporting actor role. Where’s Jada Pinkett’s Smith and Spike Lee’s outrage for these neglected American minority? Not a word! Will Smith has he’s share of smelly films on his filmography and there are definitely more talented Black actors that are more deserving then him.

    Blacks have been recognized in previous ceremonies and this year just isn’t a stellar year of Black films.
    More quality end-of-year Black films are needed to shine on a wealth of Black acting and filmmaking. Ultimately it’s what the market-place dictates. DJANGO UNCHAINED and THE HATEFUL EIGHT by Tarantino are two films that brings Black stories to the mainstream as audience have responded to the Black situation of America’s frontier racism towards Blacks in Tarantino’s entertaining pulp westerns. It can be done as there’s an audience out there for these type of entertainments. Next year could be a different situation. I still remember when Jamie Foxx won a deserving Oscar for RAY. It has to be deserving Miss Jada Pinkett Smith.

    • Q says:

      How does DJANGO UNCHAINED and THE HATEFUL EIGHT bring black stories to the mainstream? You do realize those are Spaghetti Westerns right? I won’t make the agrument of black vs white when it comes to the Oscars but there is no way that Idris Elba shouldn’t have been nominated for Beast of No Nation or Michael B. Jordan for Creed. Understand, politics rears it ugly head when it comes to the Oscars. Hopefully, as time moves forward, more quality roles and films will be given to Black as well as other minorities. You have minority actors and actresses who as good or even better than Leo (cream of the crop) or Jennifer Lawrence and it will be nice to give them an opportunity to allow their light to shine!

      • harry georgatos says:

        Mainstream movies like DJANGO UNCHAINED and THE HATEFUL EIGHT is what the mainstream respond and connect to instead of some kitchen sink cinema verite indie drama. These two films bring up race issues within a genre that has responded with audiences. DJANGO UNCHAINED was recognized by the Academy in it’s particular year with nominations and awards that had something to say about black history in a populist and accessible genre. Movies can be relevant from indie, art-house, genre and blockbusters.

        I agree that Leo doesn’t deserve a nomination and is only there because he has a good publicist. Actors such as Leo and Will Smith, Jennifer Lawrence continually get nominations because of their status in the industry and lesser better nuanced actors in lesser well known films are continually overlooked. With most of these blockbuster actors they do their franchise pictures and then do a serious indie art-house flick to get that prestigious nomination recognition that most of the time isn’t deserving. These elite actors have the muscle of the studios behind them in getting that nomination at the expense of better little known actors.

        When it comes to diversity in race there just isn’t enough or no serious films for minorities. With studios it’s what the market dictates and the question starts with what Americans want to watch!

      • Sonny Skyhawk says:

        Very well put.

  15. Two words: Tyler Perry. The man forged a successful career by essentially creating a fanbase that hadn’t existed before. The fact that the movies are garbage is beside the point. It can be done, it just needs quality.

  16. anonymous says:

    This is probably the biggest problem that actually can be addressed. Is that women and minorities are required to be “super-qualified” to get into the Academy, whereas white males are not even required to be semi-talented or even qualified, or even to have been nominated (nor to have actually won an Oscar). Then can just have a long list of credits and a good agent. I’ll speak to what I know. There are women who have been nominated or who have won Oscars who are kept out, while white men who haven’t even been nominated once have been let in. That may sound outrageous, so I’ll explain.

    If you are a woman or other “minority” you are only being offered (being generous) 10-25% of the jobs that your white male counterparts are being offered (they get 75-85% of the jobs without even having to try) BUT you are required to have the same amount of credits as they do to gain entrance to the Academy. They are getting in easy (because they get most of the jobs) and you are getting in only after you have received “super” qualification. You’ve had to first GET a list of credits that is equal to theirs while not being offered the same opportunities. Furthermore, then you’ve had to be on SUCCESSFUL films, not just one, but a list of them. It becomes much harder, the further you go up the ladder and it takes much, much longer than the old white males, naturally (and why the Academy is filled with them).

    You can then be nominated or win an Oscar and still not get in because the branch members (who get to vote if you get in) can block you at that point, and many do out of spite, jealousy or just pettiness. They can say “Oh, he or she is not ready yet. They don’t have enough credits,” blah-blah-blah. A woman or minority might not have an advocate or friend in that branch who is on that committee, but a white male can have just had a short chat at a party with the grand Poobah of the committee and suddenly he is in (even without the qualifying credits) while his female counterparts are not. “Oh I met so-and-so and while he doesn’t seem to have enough credit’s his heart is in the right place.” LOL!

    So therefore then you don’t tend to have a diverse, energetic, youthful, female, colorful, open-minded, and sympathetic group of voters because they haven’t been let in, and it all snowballs from there. Allowing in Oscar winners and nominees with a broader vision of who they are (maybe letting them all in without a secondary rejection or review by each branch), and including a diversity of backgrounds (not just a list of main title credits on big movies, but including education — acting schools, film school backgrounds), working one’s way up in the field (not a requirement oddly and in most categories they don’t even count the decades of work while learning a craft! Unlike chefs in top restaurants, nobody cares what “kitchen” you worked in when it comes to the Academy nor that you were an entertainment industry equivalent of “dishwasher”, “prep cook”, “sommelier”, “saucier” to other Academy Award winners prior to becoming a “top chef” yourself), and picking quality over quantity (it shouldn’t matter HOW many credits you have, but rather the quality of them) would help.

    Thank you. Now let’s all get along! ;)

  17. Will definitely boycott all nominated films and the Oscars broadcast says:

    “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Cheryl Boone Isaacs is a problem and an embarrassment, and so is the entire Academy.

  18. macd says:

    Even more idiotic than Mrs. Will Smith’s temper tantrum is Cheryl Boone Isaac’s lame-brained support. The Academy doesn’t need its membership revised. It needs a new President!

  19. Michael Durbin says:

    The actors/directors who earned nominations must feel great when the Academy president essentially says that she is “heartbroken and frustrated” that they are the nominees.


  20. Leo Woodley says:

    Why have Academy Awards at all? If one actor or film is selected as “best”, by default, all others are deemed to be “not the best”. Of course, money is the underlying motivation. The “best” get promoted as such and then more money is made from that. The “best” actor demands more money for future performances and so on. The public can vote on the best movies as judged by box office receipts. The winners can brag about that. Just post box office receipts and let it go. Surely the ridiculous incomes made by movie people should be enough to buy salve for their egos. Otherwise, I would recommend turning the whole affair over to the black people and let them do their thing. The truth is that most people don’t really care about it.

  21. Me says:

    I fail to see how this even matters. I’m not saying that there were not good African American films, this year, but the nature of award shows, are embarrassing at best. Daisy chaining, and schmoozing to give awards, to a completely subjective medium??? No thank you. Be above that. People only watchaward shows anyway, to see fashion, and pageantry, and I don’t believe much more.

  22. DougW says:

    If you look at all the film awards this year, Golden Globes, Critics Choice, BAFTA, film societies, you don’t see much diversity in their nominees and winners either. So is it possible the Academy nominees did the most impressive work this year, or did everybody get it wrong?

  23. Jules says:

    So….it’s okay to have these Awards Shows for Black Actors, Writers & Models, based on Skin Color….(Omitting Whites, Latinos, Asians, American Indians & Middle-Easterners, etc-etc)….

    The BET Honors.
    Candace Award, National Coalition of 100 Black Women
    Coretta Scott King Award[
    Golden Eagle Award – Afro-American in the Arts
    Langston Hughes Medal
    Miss Black America
    Miss Black USA
    NAACP Image Awards
    NAACP Theatre Awards

    But NOW you want EVERY AWARDS SHOW to Cater to Blacks, because of their Skin Color???????

  24. Rob Masi says:

    Yea, we should have “Thanks For Showing Up” Awards for Black people, so we aren’t avoiding the business of giving an award to the people who did the best

  25. Art DeMartini says:

    Obama needs to use his pen and create an executive order to nominate Ride Along 2 for best picture.

  26. Robert C says:

    I am an Academy member, a film maker and a black man and this debate and it’s possible outcomes make me sick.

    Really JP Smith & S Lee? Of all the meaningful things in our world that will affect real change for our future generations You choose Oscar nominations!

    What about the House of Representatives, federal and state legislatures, our police force, firemen, schools and universities??

    And If change is affected from this debate, do you really want to see men and women of minorities nominated because of their color or their race or sexual orientation? That’s a terrible outcome from a debate about diversity!!

  27. Why don’t african americans do their own thing? There are enough rich, talented afam men and women who can produce finance and star in their own movies. If the box office is there, they will get green lit. There’s no larger collection of liberals and progressives than in Hollywood. But instead they attack the academy? Sounds like whining. Do it yourself! Make it happen! Don’t be waiting for whitey to bail you out.

    • ACE says:

      The problem starts with writers (Book and Screenplay) they are mostly white males that create stories of white people most of them men. The second issue is the Studios and Independent producers, again mostly white men focused on casting well known white men because they believe that’s what society wants. The third issue is an ignorant American society, perhaps the third most insular and culturally limited group right behind North Korea, and Cuba, difference being they have no choice while lots of Americans just don’t value it. Note; This does not apply to all Americans, just way too many. As for the Academy, mainly white male, they review what has been made irrespective of an actor’s color or a film’s subject matter and selects based on merit not a diversity quota, they are not the solution they just illustrate the depth of the problem. Approximatey (According to MPAA ) 135 films got made, how many minorities got staring roles?

      The real issue which starts with the working Artist and ends with the Studio film divisions, they are cheating us movie goers out of outstanding performances by minority actors including very talented black actors. They continue to ignore the fact that we are a diverse society and we should be reflected in film like in TV / Online (where diversity is embraced and they are thriving) while Hollywood film divisions are greenlighting more and more record breaking failures, they should wake up.

      • Or perhaps black audiences aren’t supporting quality filmmaking. There, sorted.

        Your comment about the insular and ignorant American society was insipid enough; it didn’t require your cowardly backpedalling about not applying to everyone. When you make a wildly untenable assertion, please have the decency to solidly stand behind it.

  28. Park says:

    Keep in mind that this is the lady who wanted to nominate “Dick Poop.”

  29. Lo-ke Jones says:

    This forum won’t even allow me to spread knowledge from a personal testimony from an actual former white supremacist. So I encourage you all to Google “white man on white supremacy and fear of a black nation” the best teacher is the teacher who lived it so I take every word that man said and I believe it to the fifth power.

  30. White people are the MINORITY on earth, with 10%, yet they are being bashed 24/7, and constantly being forced to give up that which they rightfully and mindfully earned as God’s symbolic white blood cells: his disciples, the only ones that contain DNA.

    Yet, all the while, there will always be whites and wannabe ‘whites’ that can’t cut it…

  31. Al Neri says:

    Talk about having no spine. Not to mention throwing the organization she presides under the bus. She just co-signed any insult or slander thrown at academy members. She won’t last.

  32. Tim says:

    Jada – outraged that she wasn’t nominated for Magic Mike XXL or her husband for the fact-fudged Concussion (who wrote that script, Ava Duvarney?)
    Spike Lee – did he honestly believe that Chiraq would be nominated for Best Picture or Director? That slopfest was not the answer that victims of good violence expected.
    Beasts of No Nation – nobody saw it, so we’re supposed to nominated people for the ‘because’ factor?
    Best Picture/Director for Creed? Best Actor?
    Straight Outta Compton gets a writing nomination? Writer can’t even spell ‘out of.’
    When black actors get work in film, they should ‘automatically’ be nominated? Cheryl should then mandate a 6th slot to fulfill quotas for the extraordinary work of Dope, Michael B. Jordan in The Fantastic 4, Morgan Freeman in 5 Flights Up, Chiwetel Ejiofor in The Martian, RJCulyer in Me, Earl & the Dying Girl and Ester Dean in Pitch Perfect 2.

    • Hey Tim. I don’t know if you know this, but “Straight Outta Compton” is also the name of N.W.A.’s first album. It was spelled wrong on purpose for the movie to mirror the album.

      I think you have good points with everything else.

  33. Michael Hart says:

    So, is the issue truly the lack if diversity or the lack of black actors? Would Spike Lee care if blacks were nominated but no Hispanics ir Asians? The black community is becoming the new white community. They are not inclusive and no concern for other minorities that suffer as well.

  34. misha says:

    So it’s time to choose a new MPAS president.

  35. Lo-ke Jones says:

    It’s so hard to understand the concept being black in America if you are not black in America. None of these actors and filmmakers are begging for Oscars because it’s meaningless to them, a Grammy is meaningless, any award that you can’t eat or spend for the better of yourself and family is meaningless, and that goes for the Nobel peace prize. These people are saying acknowledge me for my efforts. The Leo di cap was nominated heavily for most silent and dull movie of the year, he literally had lines for more than 70% of the movie, not to mention it was a “remake” it’s hard being acknowledged in America when your black and it’s even harder grasping the idea that one is not being acknowledged when your white in America because it does not live in your everyday life. Actors aren’t the only ones being acknowledged, from the cradle to the grave blacks get no recognition “even when they making blockbuster movies.”

    • Big dave says:

      It’s ‘ you are’ or ‘you’re’, not your.

      • Motorcitymo says:

        It’s always hilarious to me when a person can’t debate against facts they settle on attacking ones grammar! But whether it’s your, you are, or you’re YOU understood exactly what he was saying. Didn’t you? I guess you just had to have the last word somehow.

    • derek says:

      Why don’t you black people start worrying about the crime rate in the black community, and stop murdering white people

      • Claude Meru says:

        100% agree with that statement

      • Lo-ke Jones says:

        I now know that you are a 1 percent of uneducated America by your last comment. You deserve no response if you bring racist comments to the discussion. In no way am I racist or for anything racist whether it’s against or for other races. Now, to answer another question I believe that no other race has been brought up because this is not a revolution or a stand up for all man kind they are simply standing up for the ones that rub elbows with them. It would be much better the to Asian or to Mexican superstar would stand up for the ones they rub elbows with because they too deserve acknowledgment.

    • derek says:

      You’re a joke

      • Lo-ke Jones says:

        Nice comeback to a fist full of truth. I do not blame you for your way of thinking this has been going on since my grandfather’s father could remember the same with you. We have all been programmed to believe these prejudices against anyone who differs from our own appearance. I’m 30 years young and I’ve seen young hate and adult hate so believe you me I’m speaking from first hand experience. If blacks and whites could understand what this man is saying we all would be okay.

  36. godoowd says:

    The only way for the various communities black. white…. etc to get nominated is to make genuinely good films with great acting performances. The academy normally votes for exceptional and inspiring performances. Nobody deserves a nomination they have to earn it. We should not be judging on colour but the strength of performance and also it has to have some appeal. Why does Compton get no votes because it only appealed to a very small minority and nowhere was this more obvious than Europe where it flopped miserably. Other movies also flop because of their strange release scheduling – Creed and Revenant only opening in Europe this week and quite often films win / lose awards before a European release – just remember quite a few voters from European nations.

    Finally the last thing that the academy seems to follow is trends – note the controlled and very high profile releases of movies such as Danish Girl and Carol… whilst these are very worthy movies there are plenty of higher rated (by the public) and more inspiring movies out there. Big budget and trendy movies are killing the industry slowly but surely.

    What might be interesting is bringing in an public Oscar – voted for by the public and not the academy elite … would Star Wars get a mention then?

  37. Iván el Terrible says:

    Awards should be given because of merits and achievements and not because of affirmative action. Rewarding PC bore-fests is the reason no one is interested in the Oscars (and the 90% of the movies which get nominated) anymore.

  38. Chic says:

    And did all of the un-nominated always get a trophy in school? When in the world does all this end? My heritage is Irish and NO ONE loved them long ago. Time to move on….things were sure a whole lot better a few decades ago, what the hell happened?????

  39. Matt says:

    In 1986 opera singer Leontyne Price was the subject of an L.A. Times article. When she was asked about her place in history as a black opera singer she grew angry. She said

    “I prefer to be interviewed as an artist,” she said. “I prefer to be interviewed as the best American artist that you are interviewing at this time. I am very proud. I am very proud of being a human being. I am very proud of being an American. And I am very proud of being black. They are all one and the same.”

  40. MrTibbs says:

    Saying the Oscars is racist because the girlfriend in Creed wasn’t nominated undercuts your whole argument. She did ok, but nobody watching that thought ‘this is the best performance of the year!’ Not even she thought that. Same goes for the actors in Straight Out of Compton. Just because a black movie made $ doesn’t mean it had Oscar-worthy performances. This is not news, and Jada and Spike wouldn’t be saying anything if Will and Chiraq would have been nominated.

    It isn’t always about race. Sometimes you just aren’t good enough.

    • Zachariot says:

      The issue, I think, is one of looking at symptoms instead of causes. It’s not particularly bad that actors from these films weren’t nominated (although I do think Idris Elba warrants a nomination over a couple of the actors that were nominated), but the larger issue is really that so-called minorities (a label given to the vast majority of the world populace) are still woefully underrepresented in terms of overall casting.

    • Sonny Skyhawk says:

      Word , Mr. Tibbs.

  41. As one of the smallest minorities (American Indian) in America that was ever a majority, and a member of the Academy, I totally disagree with BOYCOTTING the Academy Awards. To “shoot” the messenger as they say, is not a viable solution in my opinion. It is also my professional opinion that it is not the color of your skin that is voted on by the Academy members that I know, but the all around quality and artistry of the film being considered. Change is coming to the Academy membership as President Cheryl Boone Isaacs has assurred, but you have to know that it will not come easy or soon enough for most. MLK fought hard for equality, and in the film business we have 115 years of exclusion to undo. I wholeheartedly agree with SPIKE LEE’s observation that from time immemorial, the endemic film industry dilemma has been the bigoted exclusion of minority storytelling in general. That is where the dilemma lies, in the Executive decision realm, the CEO’s, Presidents and Gatekeepers (Talent Agencies) whose ultimate decisions lead to the “green lighting” process. That business dynamic is changing and I would honestly like to believe that it is changing due to our concerns and demographics. As minorities and consumers, we purchase the most tickets at theaters, and will soon be the majority of all consumers and we need to leverage that. As filmmakers, we need to concentrate on refining the quality rather than quantity. Lastly, the Native people of America, are just now on the precipice of writing, producing, financing and distributing our own fare. We have thousands of entertaining stories to be told and for the first time, from our perspective.

  42. lawrencefay says:

    African Americans make up 13.2 percent of the US population. There are 320 million Americans. That means there are 43 million blacks. Straight Outta Compton made 160 million at the US box office. The average price of a movie ticket is 10 dollars and that’s rounded up slightly. So that means that roughly one out of every 3.5 black people would have had to seen the movie for it to reach 160 million at the box office. However, that fraction is highly improbable considering many other variables weren’t factored in. My point is, Since the US population is comprised of 87 percent non-blacks, I can reasonably guesstimate that the attendance for this movie was at least half white. So the demand for movies portraying black culture is substantiated. I would argue that there aren’t enough A-list black actors being offered Oscar worthy roles or or scripts commanding leading parts for blacks. If the movie is well done, then the audience will show up, no matter the color. Straight Outta Compton proves this point. Worthwhile movie, just no Oscar worthy roles

  43. Brian says:

    Ms. Isaacs, I’m not an Academy member, but I think the problem is clear: You indeed need to review the “membership recruitment” technique. At the moment the method by which new members are chosen is wrong: 2 members invite a new member. By doing this, they will always choose friends of them or people that are similar to them. This doesn’t work to create diversity. You need other criteria for membership. And there should be a quota for minorities.

  44. Michael says:

    Only 5 male performances under the age of 30 have received an acting nomination since 1994, and 2 were from the late Heath Ledger.

    That’s it. 5 in 220. Five out of Two Hundred Twenty!!! That’s WAY LESS than African Americans.


  45. Berke Zane says:

    Last 10 years 6 of 40 awards went to black actors. Is there a quota system in the works? Should it be more representative of the nation’s population or of artists in the industry? I don’t see many nominees that are white that haven’t devoted their lives to the craft. And while many here can name the black actors that maybe could have been nominated, you’d be hard pressed to name the majority of white actors that could have gotten the nod.

    It is more suspicious that on the heels of 18 nominations, 6 awards, and 4 special honorary awards to black actors in the last 10 years that Spike Lee and Ms. Smith may be upset over their horse in the race being overlooked.

    Hollywood has walked the walk in the name of civil rights and even lending themselves to controversial issues recently, certainly not as clear cut as past civil rights digressions. So for all those artists that every day commit themselves to their craft I hope there is no cloud over your achievements.

  46. I am a member of the Academy – and I too was very upset that Will Smith was not a nominee – I felt he did an outstanding job in Concussion – It was a shock to me and a lot of my fellow academy friends that he was not nominated – but remember we go though this every year – there were many others who were sadly left out and not just African Americans — It is the role of the dice – There is always next year and i for one will do my utmost to help make some changes

  47. Michael says:

    I’m sad and frustrated about the lack of Steven Speilberg, Ridley Scott, Aaron Sorkin, Helen Mirren, Will Poulter, Dohmnall Gleeson, Carol, and Trumbo not making Best Picture. Too bad I don’t have a race to blame it on. Too bad my complaints won’t be heard, contemplated, or supported the same as these UNFOUNDED EXPECTATIONS by the black community.

    • Motorcitymo says:

      It’s always hilarious to me when a person can’t debate against facts they settle on attacking ones grammar! But whether it’s your, you are, or you’re YOU understood exactly what he was saying. Didn’t you? I guess you just had to have the last word somehow.

    • Dex says:

      @Michael (9:27)
      While many whites have been snubbed or overlooked, whites have consistently been nominated. Blacks aren’t looking to be given awards. They’re simply questioning why no African-Americans were nominated in any category. At the very least, Idris Elba deserved a nod.

  48. Spike says:

    right on tyreese! inclusion is warranted if the product deserves it. Beasts of no nation definitely. idris elba. definitely. concussion not so much. you’re thinking will smith deserved a nod. i don’t know. his imitation of african accent was kinda one note.

  49. Based on the content of the films/actors nominated, I expected nominations for “Beasts of No Nation” and/or “Concussion” to say the least. There’s a wealth of filmmakers “of color” that create at high levels. Maybe this year’s nominations is the Academy’s spiteful answer to last year’s #OscarsSoWhite? I wouldn’t put it past “the higher ups” but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because I desire to see inclusion. Am I saddened by a list of all white Oscar nominees? No. I honestly believe those filmmakers deserve the nod. I am discouraged by the negative and borderline racists responses to this “on both sides” but I’ma leave that one alone. Anyhow, I will not be participating in #BoycottOscars because I love seeing the show and the host (this year Chris Rock) cut up. So, if I had a closing statement that anyone would even care to pay attention to its: “Don’t get all worked up about about the Oscars, kids! As long as someone was able to take something away from your movie, you did your job. Stay blessed!”

  50. Occultology says:

    It’s not who is black or white that counts at the Oscars; it’s who is GOLDEN!

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