• Malynda Hale

The Problem with the Oscars

A lot of people are upset by the Oscar nominations, and while I agree there were quite a few snubs I’m more curious as to why specifically people are upset.

The main reasons seem to be around female directors as well as actors and actresses of color in lead and supporting categories. So my main question is: are we upset because the work of the few female directors and actors and actresses of color weren’t recognized because they were just as good as their white counterparts? Or because there just isn’t an emphasis on diversity at all in the content that’s released? I tend to lean towards the latter.

Aside from a few key people, I don’t think that women and people of color are even given the same level of material that certain white filmmakers and actors are given. Now of course, this is just my opinion and a matter of my personal taste when it comes to films, but there are so many films where I could see talented people of color swapped in for and it literally does not affect the story in any way shape or form.

But we all know that whiteness as a whole has always been the default because for some reason people view it as more relatable and easier to digest. One of the main things I disagree with is acknowledging just for the sake of acknowledging. If a female director did a movie and her directing wasn’t good, she shouldn’t be nominated simply because she was a female. Same with actors and actresses of color. If the work or performance wasn’t good, don’t just put them on the list to fill a quota. Then it feels more like a coerced obligation as opposed to an accolade earned.

Granted, there were a lot of performances that I don’t think were recognized at all this year and it’s a shame but I think it still goes back to the content. We have to get out of the mindset that people of color can only play a certain type of role or females can only direct a certain type of film. Risks and opportunities have to be given, otherwise this narrative of #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsAllMale will never change.

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