This year’s Oscars were highly controversial, and not just because of Chris Rock. As you recall, the organization received major backlash for its lack of racial diversity in choosing nominees for its awards. For the second year in a row almost everyone was overwhelmingly white and male. The Oscars has promised to fix its issues of diversity, and it looks like they are now actively making their first steps towards inclusion.
Just yesterday the Oscars released information that they have added 683 members to their voting body; and nearly half of them are minorities. 46% of the new group are female and 41% of the new group consists of people of color. This means combined with the existing members that is merely a 2-3% uptick in minority representation.
Notable names on the list include Idris Elba, Vivica A. Fox, Morris Chestnut, Michael B. Jordan, Nia Long, Gabrielle Union, and Marlon and Damon Wayans. ‘Star Wars’ newcomer John Boyega is the youngest at 24 added to the list. O’Shea Jackson also made the cut … interesting since the “Straight Outta Compton” snub ignited the controversy.
The Academy says the new class reps “the best in our global film community.” It also added this: “We encourage the larger creative community to open its doors wider, and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible and storied industry.”
We can lightly applaud the Oscars efforts, but we wonder will it really change anything about how the organization operates, or if actors and films of color will receive the same chances as their Caucasian counterparts. Time will tell.