By Rebecca Keegan and Steven Zeitchik
This year's list of Oscar nominees passes over popular, well-reviewed performances in the movies “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” and excludes prominent actors of color in 2015 films including Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson and Will Smith.
The news again provoked an outcry and raised fresh questions over a familiar issue: whether an industry that prides itself on its progressiveness remains stubbornly stuck in the past.
“For the two black movies that made over $100 million at the box office, touched a nerve and are artistically fresh, only white people were nominated. How does that work?” asked producer and academy member Stephanie Allain, referring to “Creed” and “Compton.”
By Tim Gray
Surprising omissions from the actor race this year included Idris Elba for “Beasts of No Nation,” Will Smith for “Concussion,” Michael B. Jordan from “Creed” and the many young actors in “Compton.”
Last year, #OscarSoWhite lit up the Twitter-sphere, generally focused on the acting and directing categories, mostly due to omission of actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay from “Selma.” But in fact, the imbalance carries into the majority of categories due to lack of opportunity.
In the Jan. 14 announcement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences listed 23 total producers for the eight movies picked in the best-pic race; seven were women. For the two screenplay races, 17 individuals are nominated, with four women and no racial minorities. The sole nom for “Straight Outta Compton” went to a self-described “white Jewish gay guy from Connecticut” and his white writing partners, Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff.)
Comment: For more on the subject, see Hollywood Still White in 2015 and Another White Year at Oscars.