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Oscar Nominations: No Actors of Color and No Women Directors

By    |   Friday, 16 January 2015 09:22 AM

Oscar nominations featured no actors of color nor female directors this year, causing an outcry from those who say such a glaring lack of diversity is unacceptable.

"This is the first time since 2011 and only the second time since 1998 that none of the nominees for lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor or supporting actress is a minority," wrote The Los Angeles Times on Thursday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu represented "the lone example of diversity" in the Best Director category for "Birdman."

Somewhat counterbalancing the lack of racial and gender diversity, the Oscars will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, who is gay, and "The Imitation Game," a biopic of gay WWII hero Alan Turing, was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.

At the heart of the racial controversy was the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma," which received nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Song. Director Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo, who played Dr. King, were not nominated individually, however.

Many blamed the Oscars nominating body, which is composed of roughly 6,000 individuals. In 2012, the LA Times found that the group was 94 percent white, 76 percent male, and an average of 63 years old — not even close to reflecting the demographics of America.

Critics said racism is likely at play in the snubbing of minorities, but in the case of Selma, Hollywood insiders also pointed to additional factors.

"Race was a factor; it wasn’t the factor," wrote Grantland. "The reason Selma didn’t perform better today — or, rather, the reason the Academy didn’t do better by Selma today — has a great deal to do with some infuriatingly mundane issues: release timing and campaign strategy."

"The Selma campaign . . . opted to shrug off most of the guild awards and not send DVDs to their memberships (it wasn’t eligible for the WGA), missing many opportunities to build enthusiasm in the rank-and-file," wrote journalist Mark Harris.

Furthermore, the "Selma" team "was caught flat-footed" by former Lyndon B. Johnson aide Joseph A. Califano Jr., who charged in a Washington Post column that the film was historically inaccurate concerning the portrayal of the former president.

The creators of the movie "should have had a specific explanation at the ready for why DuVernay chose to depict Johnson the way she did," he explained.

Best Picture
"American Sniper"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"The Imitation Game"
"The Theory of Everything"

Best Director
Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Birdman"
Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”
Morten Tyldum, "The Imitation Game"

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones, "The Theory of Everything"
Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"
Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl"
Reese Witherspoon, "Wild"

Best Actor
Steve Carell, "Foxcatcher"
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"
Michael Keaton, "Birdman"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Laura Dern, “Wild”
Keira Knightley, "The Imitation Game"
Emma Stone, "Birdman"
Meryl Streep, "Into the Woods"

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, "The Judge"
Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood"
Edward Norton, "Birdman"
Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher"
J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"

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Oscar nominations featured no actors of color nor female directors this year, causing an outcry from those who say such a glaring lack of diversity is unacceptable.
oscar, nominations, actors of color, women, directors
Friday, 16 January 2015 09:22 AM
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