Oscar snubs racism

Oscar Snubs: Racism? Nominated Actors 100 Percent White For 2nd Time Since 1998

The list of Oscar snubs every year seems to generate as much attention as the list of nominees, but when the 2015 Oscar nominees were announced Thursday morning, the list of snubs took on an added significance — because in all four acting categories, the Motion Picture Academy snubbed every race and ethnic group on Earth, except for white people.

The 100 percent white list of the 20 actors and actresses nominated in the four acting categories marks the second time since 1998 that not a single nominee has been a person from any non-white ethnic group. The 2011 nominee list also consisted of 20 white actors.

In fact, of the 20 nominees in 2015, only 39-year-and French actress and 2007 Oscar winner Marion Cotillard is not American or British in addition to being white.

In a year when issues of race and civil rights took front and center on the national stage, after race riots following several police killings of unarmed black men — perhaps most prominently in Ferguson, Missouri, which saw two rounds of rioting over the killing of teenager Michael Brown and the non-indictment of the police officer who killed him — the Academy did not see fit to nominate veteran actor David Oyelowo, 38, for his critically acclaimed performance as iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King in the film Selma.

In what will likely be taken as an even more bitter pill to swallow for advocates of diversity in Hollywood and civil rights in general, the British-born Oyelowo’s snub by the Oscar nominating selectors was announced on January 15 — the actual birthday of the real Martin Luther King Jr., who would have been 86 years old had he not been cut down by an assassin’s bullet at the height of the civil rights movement in 1968.

In a way, the all-white nominee list is less a surprise than the presence of non-white actors in other years, when a 2013 study by The Los Angeles Times is taken into account. That survey found that the group of eligible Oscar voters — though the Motion Picture Academy does not publicly disclose its membership list — was 93 percent white.

Though Selma was among the seven nominees for Best Picture, it was the only one of the group whose lead actors were not white.

Selma director Ava DuVernay, 42, (pictured above, with Oyelowo) was widely expected to become the first black woman ever to be nominated in the Best Director category, but she, too, made the list of Oscar snubs instead, in favor of a nominee group that included three American white males, a white Norwegian man and a Mexican male, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director of Birdman.

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