Saturday Night Live is jumping on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy bandwagon and it’s hilarious. The popular comedy sketch show skewered the Academy for the lack of racial diversity in the Oscar 2016 nominations, E! Online reports.
The comedians on SNL created their own fake film awards show called the Screen Guild Awards which showcased films where white guys were awarded winners for minor roles in films where black actors were leads.
Though it was meant to be funny, the SNL sketch show isn’t that far off from the actual Academy Awards that they were spoofing. If you take a look at the Oscar 2016 nominations for acting awards, it’s hard not to notice that all of the nominees are white. Some of the nominees are known for being great actors like Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs), and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) but it’s very telling that critically acclaimed performances like Idris Elba’s turn as a warlord in Beasts of No Nation and Michael B. Jordan’s role in Creed were snubbed.
— Deadline Hollywood (@Deadline) January 24, 2016
The reaction to the lack of recognition for actors of color struck a nerve on social media and the hashtag ‘#OscarsSoWhite trended for days after the 2016 Oscar nominations were announced.
The controversy has also spurred actors like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith to call on actors of color to boycott the ceremony.
The press hasn’t been good for The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences but they have reacted in a way that seems positive.
As Billboard reports, the Academy will be changing its membership rules to encourage more racial diversity in its membership.
— Mashable (@mashable) January 19, 2016
They are adding more new members who are not on the board of governors to its executive and board committees, where key decisions about membership and governance are finalized. The Academy’s new changes will also affect how members vote. From now on, members of the Academy will only have voting privileges for 10 years. It will only be renewed if the member has been active in films for the duration of their membership. Members can be awarded lifetime voting rights but only if they have served three 10 year terms, or if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award.
Current members who aren’t active will be downgraded to emeritus status. While they’ll still have membership privileges, they will not be able to vote. The Academy is also going on a campaign to proactively recruit new members who reflect the racial diversity of the industry.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said via an official written statement to the press. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
Reactions to the #OscarsSoWhite controvery among white actors has been mixed. As this previous Inquisitr article reported, actors like Charlotte Rampling are against it. Rampling said in a French radio interview that she thinks the movement is racist against white people.
But, as MSNBC reports, George Clooney, an actor with considerable influence in Hollywood, has voiced his support for more inclusion of actors of color.
“I think that African-Americans have a real fair point that the industry isn’t representing them well enough,” Clooney said in a recent interview with Variety. “I think that’s absolutely true.” He said that Straight Outta Compton, Creed, and Beasts of No Nation were prime examples of films with black lead actors that were snubbed by the Academy. But he added that even more needs to be done. Clooney said that he thought “there should be more opportunity than that. There should be 20 or 30 or 40 films of the quality that people would consider for the Oscars.”
The Academy Awards telecast will air on February 28. Despite many rumors to the contrary, Chris Rock will not be boycotting hosting duties and will integrate the #OscarsSoWhite controversy into his monologue, Entertainment Tonight reports.
[Photo via NBC]