All-white acting nominees. All-male directing nominees. As Oscar season narrows the field, a pernicious pattern re-emerges, and changing these trends will mean changing what we think of as weighty and important. My latest column: https://t.co/kH24DR2jdi
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) January 8, 2020
From the New York Times entertainment section:
After Oscar Season’s Wildest Week, a Troubling Takeaway
As the field continues to narrow, female filmmakers and actors of color appear increasingly sidelined.
By Kyle Buchanan
Jan. 8, 2020, 1:06 p.m. ET
The week before the Oscar nominations on Jan. 13 was meant to be the most exciting phase of awards season yet: After a glittery Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday, many of the most important industry guilds and groups weighed in with their own nominations during the next two days, helping to clarify the Oscar race and winnow down the ultimate list of contenders.
So why is your Carpetbagger in no mood to celebrate?
Because that narrowing list has begun to exclude not just some of the most exciting performances and films of the season, but also many of the movies directed by women or featuring people of color. And though the academy, which is due to release its nominations next week, has taken great pains to diversify itself since the years of #OscarsSoWhite, this past week suggests that other awards bodies still have a lot of soul-searching to do, and that this issue may require a total shift in what’s considered weighty and worthy.
Just look at BAFTA, the British awards group that issued a list of nominations on Tuesday that failed to include even a single actor of color. … though BAFTA still found room in that category to nominate Margot Robbie for playing two different blondes.
Does BAFTA have a blind spot when it comes to race? I’ll just note that this group has failed to ever nominate Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman, even though the two men have 13 Oscar nominations for acting and three Academy Award statuettes between them. That’s one awfully concerted cold shoulder.
Perhaps the British group didn’t view Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman as British?
But this is another good example of how wokeness tends to boil down to “Beyonce’s 22 Grammys Aren’t Enough” thinking: Denzel and Morgan need more prizes! IMDB lists 79 nominations for Morgan and 169 for Denzel, but that’s just not enough!
But the problem extends far past BAFTA: Over the last decade, all but one of the Oscar wins for actors of color have come in the supporting categories. …
Instead, the guild nominated Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”), Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”), Sam Mendes (“1917”), Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”) and Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”). Both BAFTA and the Golden Globes substituted the “Joker” director Todd Phillips for Waititi, but no matter how you slice it, these are male-dominated movies, and nearly all of them feature a panoply of violent acts (with murders that include stabbings, hangings, shootings and death by flamethrower). …
When pressed about these sorts of snubs, awards voters will often deflect: Their job, they insist, is merely to select the best possible contenders, regardless of race or gender. Still, the homogeneous group of gatekeepers that came before us still affects so much of what we consider worthy of canonization. Changing those entrenched attitudes will require not just diverse membership rolls, but a willingness to investigate who and what we deem important. It won’t be easy to celebrate the wins to come when it’s clear that so much is still lost.
I suspect we are going to hear increasing numbers of calls for abolishing the Secret Ballot. How can Morgan Freeman win enough awards if people are allowed to not vote for him privately? All voting must be public to make sure the Right People win.