2017 Oscars and Diversity

Tonight at 8:30pm, the 89th annual Academy Awards premieres to highlight some of the best films from 2016, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. This year’s award show differs from the past few years due to the more inclusive nominations in regards to minorities. Last year’s Oscars received a lot of backlash from minority artists around the nation, tired of not receiving the same opportunities as white people. Not a single minority was nominated at the 2016 Academy Awards. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite resurfaced and celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee publicly boycotted the show.

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Tonight, however, we see more minority nominations then there have been in years. Hidden Figures, Fences, Moonlight and Lion highlight minority actors and are critically acclaimed movies worthy of their nominations. The minority characters in each of these movies are more than just surface level, stereotypical characters. They are fleshed out and powerful, through dynamic plotlines and relationships. An audience member cannot walk away from Loving and not praise Ruth Negga on her performance as a black woman who fights against the odds to maintain her relationship with a white man. The more inclusive nominations mark the changing environment of the industry within society. In this time, it is important for people of color to know they have the same opportunities for their stories to be told and their artistry to be shown.  As Black History Month comes to a close, the Oscars makes it clear that black people will continue to make history.

You can check out the entire list of nominees here: https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2017

Article written by: Jada Reid

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