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What do you think about all the recent fuss about the lack of diversity in Hollywood films, especially when it comes to Academy Award nominations?

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When it comes to the North American arts and entertainment industry in broad terms (music, sports, theater, visual arts, etc.), ethnic and racial diversity is probably the largest factor in what made those areas great, rather than just mediocre. Not only does it result in access to the top talent, but it also fuels momentum and cross-pollination of ideas.

So, what I am trying to get at is, I am a big fan of diversity, and do not want to watch an endless stream of films featuring all-white casts (an yes, I am white). The lack of diversity in Hollywood films is a problem on many levels, particularly given that Hollywood has such a global reach, and for better or worse acts as a sort of ambassador for the U.S. and Canada (where many of the films are made).

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think the fuss is misplaced. We have, oh, seventeen things more pressing to correct racial injustice.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I fully support calling out Hollywood for its whitewashing rubbish. They only reason I'm not joining in on the Oscar boycott is that I don't watch the Oscars because they've always been culturally irrelevant to me.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Thing with the oscars is that you can't make people nominate films or actors that they don't want to - it's like trying to get someone to vote for a prime minister that they don't like. You can't do that. It's a long process to change people's attitudes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Where were the Asian nominations??!?!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Tatsu - what films had outstanding performances by Asian actors. Just asking - I don't know.

And funny how hollywood inc is always slapped as beiing too liberal, lefty and dreamy on many of it's causes, statements, social agendas and viewpoints, yet here we find it accused of skin colour discrimination.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I see a lot of diversity in action films I like: Stallone, Italian-American; Arnold, Austrian; Wesley Snipes, African American; etc.

Keep in mind the largest number of films in the world is probably made in Bollywood, and third maybe China. Go make federal cases there over lack of "diversity". If you want to see so many "Asian" actors, just turn on your JP, Korean or Chinese television,,,

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The lack of diversity in Oscar nominees is a direct result of the lack of leading roles for minorities in film. There's a very small pool to choose from at the moment. You can't fix the former without fixing the latter, and I think both could use a bit of fixing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There just weren't any great films with minorities made in the last two years. SImple answer.

This is a writing problem, not a producing problem. Perhaps minorities might want to hire excellent storytellers for their ideas?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

shonanbbJAN. 22, 2016 - 10:58AM JST There just weren't any great films with minorities made in the last two years. SImple answer. This is a writing problem, not a producing problem. Perhaps minorities might want to hire excellent storytellers for their ideas?

This sort of shows outright the entrenched discrimination in Hollywood: your whole argument is premised on the implicit idea that minorities need films written for them. In other words, white people are the default and any kind of movie can have a white lead, but minorities are different and need stories specially made to include them. We claim (well, some of us, anyway) to live in a color-blind society, but if that were truly the case then for any given action/romantic comedy/etc genre of movie going into production, leads of any ethnicity should have an equal shot at getting the lead. If we're truly color-blind, we should be able to take any given movie and drop the white leads and replace them with say, Chinese, Indian, black, Latin, Arabic, or leads of any ethnic ancestry, without putting anything in the story that talks about/justifies their ethnicity and audiences would accept the movie just as well as with white leads. And we clearly see that doesn't happen.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The problem is economics. Black people constitute 12 pct of the US population. Non-Hispanic whites are 64 pct. If black actors could get the average black person to buy 5 tickets for every ticket the average white person buys, they'd have no problem getting more Oscars their way.

katsu78: If we're truly color-blind, we should be able to take any given movie and drop the white leads and replace them with say, Chinese, Indian, black, Latin, Arabic, or leads of any ethnic ancestry

Yeah. What's the deal with "Gods of Egypt?" Doffing a god-suit to reveal a blond-haired, blue-eyed Egyptian?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you don't understand the equation Profit = (1% talent) + (White x Blond x Blue eyes), then you don't understand how showbiz and to some extend, the world, works.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2013/popcorn-people-profiles-of-the-u-s-moviegoer-audience.html

"2012 Moviegoing by Race/Ethnicity": Hispanics 18 pct of popn, 25 pct of movies seen, African Americans 12 pct of popn, 11 pct of movies seen, Asian/Other 6 pct of pop, 5 pct of movies seen, Caucasian 64 pct of popn, 58 pct of movies seen.

and: http://brandongaille.com/21-fantastic-moviegoer-demographics/

Caucasians now account for less than 50% of frequent moviegoers and are underrepresented relative to their portion of the population.

But relative percentages don't matter. It doesn't matter that Hispanics buy 50 pct more tickets than their proportion of the general population, or that whites buy 14 pct under. The number of whites buying tickets is still at least a multiple of 2 to 10 of any other cohort. Want to make money, sell to the largest cohort. Want to lose money, bet your pot on selling to the smaller cohorts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I always thought they nominated the films and actors on merit, not race. You shouldn't just nominate non-white actors because you have a quota to fill... you need to nominate them based on their talent and their films, just like everyone else.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's nothing to do with quotas. Or merit. Or economics. The simple fact is that the out-of-touch, culturally non-relevant dinosaurs that make up the majority of the AMPAS have consistently ignored and marginalised any contribution made by minority artists. Fortunately there are many other awards available that more accurately reflect the cultural landscape.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@katsu78:

"... minorities are different and need stories specially made to include them...If we're truly color-blind, we should be able to take any given movie and drop the white leads and replace them with say, Chinese, Indian, black, Latin, Arabic..."

That's exactly what happened with a screenplay I wrote, several years ago - it wasn't written with any racial characteristics in its protaganist or antagonist, and was ultimately optioned by a Bollywood producer. I live (when I'm not in Japan), in Victoria, BC - culturally diverse, but mainly white.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What I want from a movie, is authenticity. That means accurate, not politically correct depiction of diversity and homogeneity. NO black vikings/knights, NO white indians/samurai, NO fake blonde superwomen or steroid supermen as everyday guys.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

RiskyMosaic: It's nothing to do with quotas. Or merit. Or economics. The simple fact is that the out-of-touch, culturally non-relevant dinosaurs that make up the majority of the AMPAS have consistently ignored and marginalised any contribution made by minority artists. Fortunately there are many other awards available that more accurately reflect the cultural landscape.

Movie production companies spend large amounts of money every year promoting their movies to the Oscars voters.

They're not making movies for their health, but to make a profit.

https://wallethub.com/blog/economics-of-oscar-season/2124/

“Oscar marketing budgets run from a few hundred thousand to a few million,” he says. “The really big costs are in tailoring the film towards the Oscars in terms of its genre conventions, release date, etc.”

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

African American films are generally really boring.

They often have the token white guy, the nerdy Asian and the rest are nearly all African Americans who spout values and beliefs that belong to the stone age. Many still use the term 'gay' in its various forms, as an insult. The only time I hear the 'N' word on my TV is in historical films or African American films. I'm neither gay or black, but I don 't wish to sit through 2 hours of 'N this' and 'N that' and, 'you can suck my ___'.

This is 2016. If they want to be more represented at the Oscars, their movies have to be more representative, in attitudes and lifestyle of mainstream society.

Next we'll be boycotting the Oscars because one eyed wheel chaired restricted Chilean lesbians are under represented.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I throw up a middle finger to the oscars. And not just now, but from way back. This whole fiasco explains half the plight of black Americans: always trying to get recognized and approved by white people. Black Americans have a unique story to tell and they should tell it in their way, their words, and on their own terms. And they should also give zero "Fs" about what white Hollywood thinks. You know what happened in the past when blacks gave the establishment the finger? The world got the Harlem Renaissance, jazz, blues, country, rock and roll, hip hop, innovative fashion, etc. And those black American innovators are the most imitated, copied, revered, mocked, harassed, laughed-at, and envied people that ever walked the face of the earth. I just hope that the black Americans can wake up and see their artistic and creative genius and take control of it. Because you can see what happens when blacks try to seek white approval: you have Elvis dubbed as the king of rock, you get Pat Boone, you get the impression that white Americans created country and rock and roll music, you get whites acting as Cleopatra and other Egyptians in the movies; you get eminems and the whole de-revolutionizing and total destruction and death of hip hop. I say that black artists need to say the hell with the Oscars. They should make their movies and tell their stories unperturbed by white eyes. The Oscars doesn't celebrate talent anyway. Look at Denzel Washington's filmography. He's done supremely great films, but the Oscars only gave him an award for his roll in Training Day: a film where he plays a corrupt, thuggish cop. Look at Morgan Freeman. Doesn't get any props for Lean on Me, but he gets the Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy. And who can forget the appalling circumstances attending the the ceremony's first nomination of a black American. That disgusting movie Gone With the Wind. Yeah... Who cares about the Oscars.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Katsu: People in this thread are offering their ethnic variations they come from and expressing some cool ideas. It is not explicit in writing a comment according to the rules here, but the mods would prefer us not to say what our religions are and our ethnic background. I am happy to see many telling theirs and not seeing one derogatory response back to them. If I as one of the so called chosen wrote a film script, I know personally from my own heart that my writing would not be accepted for a script, but if I hired say for example, My Jewish Ethiopian...and yes, he is black, to write it, it would have a much better chance at making it to the screen. If I hired my purple, green or orange friends also, a much better chance.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sooner or later, employment, entertainment, every aspect of our lives will be defined by clip boards and quotas, dictated by a pompous self righteous celebrity.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

you can't get all upset and say that a quota is against the Oscars when 100% of the nominees are white. It comes down to the production companies hiring actors, not just black asian hispanic or white. Nothing against the nominees but the reality is that the nominations don't reflect America. That's it. Quotas aren't going to solve this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

LA times 2012 - From the Archives Unmasking Oscar: Academy voters are overwhelmingly white and male......

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/oscars/la-et-unmasking-oscar-academy-project-20120219-story.html

A question, would the nominations be any different if Academy voters are overwhelmingly black and women? Maybe, there again maybe not....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shonanbbJAN. 23, 2016 - 05:51PM JST If I as one of the so called chosen wrote a film script, I know personally from my own heart that my writing would not be accepted for a script, but if I hired say for example, My Jewish Ethiopian...and yes, he is black, to write it, it would have a much better chance at making it to the screen. If I hired my purple, green or orange friends also, a much better chance.

Are you claiming there is an affirmative action policy in Hollywood for script writing? Because I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take "your heart" as a citation for evidence to back that claim up. I'm going to need something a bit more real.

But let's just hypothetically propose that it were true. If it were, that would completely undermine the claim you wrote in your earlier post here. If minority writers are getting hired in Hollywood simply on the basis of their minority status, then one would expect to see more movies written to cast minority leads. We don't. So then on top of needing to explain your evidence for why you think there is a conspiracy in Hollywood to pass up scripts written by white writers over minority writers, you have to explain why these privileged minority writers can't seem to get many minority leads into their screenplays, even though you yourself attributed the lack of minority leads to a failing of minority writers.

Personally, I'm going to go with Occam's razor here until compelling evidence is provided.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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