According to the media, the Academy Award nominations lacked diversity this year. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, decided to address that entire backlash over the Oscar nominations and said that steps are being made to improve the Academy.
On Friday night, the president of the AMPAS said that the organization is “committed to seeking out diversity of voice and opinion” and that the nominations of mostly white males would most certainly push her in efforts to ensure that the Academy remains focused on being more inclusive. This year’s nominations for Oscar featured all-white acting nominees for the first time since 1998, and there are many who think that Selma(Best Picture nominee) not receiving more nominations was just another snub reflecting a racial bias existing among the white majority of the voting block.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, however, doesn’t think that the audience should have those feelings about Selma.
“It’s nominated for the Oscar for best picture. It’s an award that showcases the talent of everyone involved in the production of the movie,” she said.
She explained that voting is confidential and individual, but each branch of the Academy comes up with criteria needed for the nomination and only actors can suggest best actors nominees or directors nominate directors, etc.
Hashtag #OscarsSoWhite went viral when many viewers decided to use social media to show their displeasure after the nominations.
A survey from 2012 done by Los Angeles Times discovered that the Academy voters are 94 percent white, mostly male with averagely 62 years old. Although the percentage of older white males has started to decrease, it will take some time for diversity to get its ground, judging by the nearly 7,000 members of the Academy and no retirement required.
The president felt that despite the current controversies, the Academy was making the biggest progress in its history.
“In the last two years, we’ve made greater strides than we ever have in the past toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization through admitting new members and more inclusive classes of members,” she said.
“Personally, I would love to see and look forward to see a greater cultural diversity among all our nominees in all of our categories. It matters that we pay attention to the diversity of voice and opinion and experience, and that it doesn’t slide, it doesn’t anywhere except for forward,” she concluded.
We all hope that the Oscar Nominations will manage to avoid the controversies by having more diversity next year, that’s for sure.