The overwhelming whiteness of the Oscars…again

With the nominees for the 2016 Academy Awards announced on Thursday, January 14, it is easy to get caught up in the meticulous scrutiny of the celebration of the whitest content and creators. This year can be seen as rather predictable, with zero out of 20 nominations going to non-white actors.

It would be easy for someone to argue that the criticism towards the Academy Awards is illegitimate considering that “12 Years a Slave” took home the award for Best Picture and Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress in the past two years. However, it is important to recognize all that has happened within those two years.

“Black Lives Matter” has become a mantra for a generation within a year. There have been filmmakers that have used the spirit of those movements to generate films that take these aspects and give them a voice. Civil rights movements were shown in “Selma” and the urban angst of a group of rappers was depicted in “Straight Outta Compton.

It is not fair to assume that artistic creators of other races than Caucasian didn’t deserve nomination based on them not standing up with other productions.

It’s also not fair to assume that there is some ethical criteria that only white nominees are meeting and that the tastes of the Academy aren’t full of aesthetic biases, which include race. As of 2014, the Academy was 94 percent white, 76 percent male and an average of 63 years old.

Is it possible to have critics be able to identify with a rap group dealing with racism and inner city struggle.

Major studios just simply aren’t greenlighting enough productions that tell the stories of other races and cultures. Recognizing content that has been produced doesn’t mean that it needs to undervalued the way that “Selma,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “Beasts of No Nation,” “Creed” and many others have recently.

It is impossible to white wash art from other races and cultures out of American society. It is time to start and continue asking why Hollywood is still turning a deaf ear.