After Jada Pinkett Smith called out the Academy Awards earlier this month, the organization has implemented immediate action to remedy its diversity problems. This week, satirical comedy show Saturday Night Live did not fail to highlight the issue.
In this week’s episode, they created a skit similar to what is currently happening at the Oscars at present. The host announced the Best Actors with a disclaimer saying, “There are many great performances this year, it’s a shame we couldn’t nominate more.”
“But I think we can all agree these were the best of the best.”
It started with a boxing movie which appeared to be a parody of Michael B. Jordan’s Creed. The skit went on featuring four more parody films which highlighted black actors taking on the lead role while the white supporting actors take the award. There was even one extreme example where the only participation of the white nominated actors were less than five seconds.
Saturday Night Live wittily placed the black actors near the white nominated actors who got scary glares from their counterparts.
At the end of the skit, all white actors won.
This is what Jada Pinkett Smith was raving on. Some accused her of being out of line just because her husband was not nominated, but statistics has strengthened her stance.
In a video made by Bard Edlund, it was highlighted how the lack of diversity of Oscars nominations and winners spanned over the past decades.
“Determining race/ethnicity and assigning people to categories can be a rather dicey and imprecise activity. Some inaccuracies or points of contention must be expected,” Edlund wrote.
He also told Buzzfeed that it actually surprised him to find out about the reality of this problem.
“Obviously, I am well aware of the overall diversity problem in Hollywood, both when it comes to race and gender, but I personally felt like black actors had been making good inroads at awards ceremonies in recent years.”
“I wanted to check to see how true that was in terms of raw numbers, and also take a look at nominations for Hispanic and Asian people.”
TIME also collected their own statistics and came up with the same results. According to the numbers, only 6.7 percent of acting nominations since 1929 were given to non-white actors. In the past 25 years, the non-white nominations increased.
In 2006, one quarter of the 20 nominees were non-white. In 2010, 8.3 percent of the nominees have been non-white. In 2012, 94 percent of the nominees were white, according to the Los Angeles Times study.
Because of this big disparity in numbers, people had become more outspoken this year.
For instance, Creed had a black protagonist. It was also written and directed by a black man, Ryan Coogler. However, the only nomination was given to a white man. The same thing was also noted in the movie Straight Outta Compton. The movie had young black actors and a talented black director, F. Gary Gary. However, the only nominations of the film were given to the screenplay writers who were both Caucasian.
After the big backlash, the Academy has released a statement that they have a unanimous vote in the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make their governing body more diverse.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
Watch the genius Saturday Night Live skit below.
[Image credit: YouTube]