For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominees were white and only one of the directing nominations went to a person of color. The firestorm that followed, organized under the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, led to passionate responses from casual movie fans and film industry veterans alike.
We have watched the bickering back and here are 3 thoughts that matter.
#1 Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee boycotting is a non starter. No one has thought of Jada ever being an Oscar contender. Spike has always had an opinion. Neither of them having an opinion really affects anything.
#2 More people of color have to get into the business. They need to have the opportunity to work. Young people need to be encouraged to see the arts as an opportunity.
#3 The industry has to constructively look, nurture and promote minorities. The number of African Americans who are frozen in low paying career-less positions is staggering. There has to be a certain amount of investment made that is invested in making a career path.
It is only after these three things are done, can we see a change. The issue at hand is not that the voters don’t like African Americans, it is that they are not presented with authentic stories nor have the skilled voting members.
Instead of boycotting the Awards these two should do what is needed. They should create opportunity to groom, grow and inspire those in and those who want to come in.
Where do you come in this issue?