A fact of this year’s Academy Awards has some in the entertainment and civil rights communities scratching their heads and raising their eyebrows: There are precisely zero African-Americans nominated for the coveted acting, best picture, and director Oscars.
At a time when racial set asides are aggressively enforced at all levels of American society, the obvious question is: Why isn’t liberal Hollywood following its own rules?
It’s a question that has not gone unnoticed by self-appointed diversity cops. Lisa Respers France of CNN.com fretted about the fact that despite the variety of nominees and winners last year, this year the show will be a monochromatic event. “There are no women or people of color among the director nominees, and the acting nominees are all white. Javier Bardem, who is up for best actor for his role in “Biutiful,’ is a Spaniard and therefore European,” she wrote, pointing out that this is a continuation of a historical trend wherein fewer “meaty” roles have been written for African American actors.
This will be the first time in ten years that there will be no African American nominees for these awards.
Vic Bulluck, executive director for the NAACP’s Hollywood Bureau, told The Daily Caller that the lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Awards shows the importance of other venues to showcase talent, like the NAACP Image Awards, on March 4, which highlight a wide range of individuals.
“This year’s nominees for Oscars, should be a wake-up call for the American audience to support and watch the NAACP Image Awards show,” Bulluck said. “[A]nd for Hollywood Agents, Execs and PR Reps to support the show so the world is reminded of how deep the talent pool is in the African American community, and for fellow actors, actresses and performers to attend the show and honor the achievements of their colleagues.”
Christopher John Farley blogging for The Wall Street Journal pointed out the irony of last year’s best supporting actress winner Mo’Nique announcing the distinctly un-diverse nominations.
“This year, Oscar seems to be having something of a breakdown when it comes to honoring black actors. Ten movies were nominated for best picture, and not a single one stars an actor of color in a lead role,” he wrote. “Twenty actors were nominated for acting honors, and not a single one is an actor of color.”
Could it be that enlightened Hollywood is just as in need of one or two diversity seminars as the rest of corporate America? Or that the liberal entertainment establishment holds itself to different standards then the “regular people?”