OSCAR Nominations – Alarm Bells Ring With Cries of Discrimination

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The 2015 OSCAR nominations were announced this week and immediately every media watcher, paid pundit, basement blogger and voyeur, has weighed in on the sensitive issues of race in Hollywood and the apparent snub of black talent.

With the emotionally riveting Selma receiving a Best Picture nod and held back from any other categories it would seem a strong enough foundation to withstand a racially insensitive Hollywood argument misjudging and acting irresponsibly in the face of recent events.

If the issue of Ageism and Gender inequality hadn’t presented equally persuasive arguments with apparent talent snubs than it might be possible to agree.

The 1960’s were a turbulent time for freedom. Women, The Negro, everyone wanted freedom and now as we reflect, we all want the same recognition today and the affirmation that our cause, racial and gender equality are issues that matter.

Yes, female lives matter. Fighting for gender equality since the 1960’s roughly around the same time as our Selma friends have been fighting for the desire to be treated equally under the law and have been expressing their right to vote and facing the adversity of generational hatred.

Looking at the OSCAR nominations as an indicator of society as a whole is a misnomer, as the OSCARS are the entertainment industry, the film entertainment industry’s highest honor. They are not prophetic indicators of racial disparity, and yes, for years African Americans seemed left out of the year’s biggest night. Where does the fault lie?

If the OSCARS are talent based awards, which maybe a naïve interpretation, then acting, the talent, of which 2015 has produced a bumper the crop of stunning performances.

 And other then Ms. Streep who is in a class all to herself, the rest of the group hopes for one role each year that catapults them into the eyes of the academy voters.

The machines behind all of this, of course, are the studios, the PR agencies that create award campaigns, the unseen algorithm, and of course, smoke from the chimney as names are tossed out with award potential.

Back to this year’s apparent snub of talent: Ava, Angie, Clint, Christopher all snubbed, shut out in the male dominated Best Director category. We could scream ageism, race, gender, and   . . .well there’s are not enough disenfranchised groups to include everyone.

David Oyelowo snubbed, Jessica Chastian, Jennifer Aniston, Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth and even Oprah Winfrey, all snubbed. Some previous OSCAR winners with strong performances still snubbed. Black talent, Hispanic talent, Asian, white, female, older all snubbed.

A world of equality void of discrimination is not the world we live in.

The smaller world of professional accolades, albeit best salesman, doctor, lawyer, actor, director or cinematographer, is based on a peer group vote. Fortunately, the Academy voters do dig in and take the responsibility seriously.

Rules can’t be changed when the outcome doesn’t turn out the way one had hoped. Presidential candidates have won the popular vote and walked away empty handed as the rules, for lack of a better word, rule.

No award process is perfect and one can’t play the race or gender card every time circumstances don’t generate the results one hopes.

So here’s to the magic, the glam, the glitz and glitter of the OSCAR awards season. 

 

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