By Patrick Goldstein
Setting aside the more obscure, technical categories, when it comes to the best picture award along with the major nominations for acting, writing and directing, there are, ahem, zero people of color in the Oscar race this year.
There are no studio chairmen or heads of production who are black or Latino. In fact, there are barely any people of color in any high-level positions at any major studio, talent agency or management firm. When I asked a couple of reporter pals to name the most powerful black executive in town, a lot of head-scratching ensued before we decided that the person with the most clout was probably James Lassiter, Will Smith’s longtime business partner and production company chief.
I see only two possible explanations for this. One, you can believe minorities aren't qualified to be Hollywood executives--despite their success in many other industries. Which is itself a racist assumption. Two, you can believe Hollywood hires white executives for the same reason it makes white movies. Namely, because Hollywood is fundamentally racist.
Clearly they haven't gotten the memo that the US's demographics are changing. They haven't understood the evidence in front of their faces. People will watch minorities in movies such as Avatar, Twilight, and The Karate Kid. And in TV shows such as Lost, Grey's Anatomy, and Hawaii Five-0.
For more on the subject, see:
Hollywood: Poor people = losers
"We can't find the talent"
Hollywood ghettoizes Native actors
Dismissing the pro-Airbender arguments
Hollywood's cultural conservatism