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The Oscars: Controversy

Ellen Eng, Administrator

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This year, the Oscar nominations have caused an uproar. The 2015 Oscar nominations are the whitest they have ever been since 1998. What is the demographic makeup of the Oscars? 94% white, 76% male, and an average of 63 years old. No female directors, writers, OR cinematographers were nominated, including Gillian Flynn, who was pegged to win for her screenplay of Gone Girl. Only one female-driven film was nominated.

 

While Selma only got two nominations, American Sniper, a movie focused on a white, male protagonist, got 6. While Selma comes from a young black woman named Ava DuVernay, American Sniper, unsurprisingly, comes from Clint Eastwood. Obviously, the argument could be made that there are differing tastes, but when you get to the point where this has been the whitest Oscars since 1998–17 years ago–maybe those supposed “differing tastes” don’t matter.

 

Criticisms of Selma arose as pushback on disappointment for its few nominations, but even if it was inaccurate, so was American Sniper and The Imitation Game, another nomination. IndieWire editor Sam Adams tweeted: “The Academy: Historical accuracy is important, unless your movie is about a white man killing Arabs.”

 

DuVernay replied to the controversy by saying “For the film to be, I think, reduced—reduced is really what all this is—to one talking point of a small contingent of people who don’t like one thing, I think is unfortunate.” The controversy over a film about the Civil Rights movement is very publicized- but is the controversy of American Sniper publicized? The film that likens shooting Muslim children to shooting deer, the film that makes Chris Kyle a hero even when, in his autobiography, bragged about how many Iraqis he had killed and said “I hate the damn savages. I couldn’t give a flying f*** about the Iraqis.” He was also “drawn to killing because it’s ‘fun’”, and said that “I don’t shoot people with Korans- I’d like to, but I don’t.”

 

Clearly there is an issue with the Oscars, something needs to change.

 

Sources:

http://www.salon.com/2015/01/28/why_american_sniper_chris_kyles_defenders_are_so_misguided_partner/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/15/the-whitest-oscars-since-1998-why-the-selma-snubs-matter.html

http://au.ibtimes.com/disappointed-viewers-accuse-2015-oscar-nominations-whitewashing-spread-hashtag-oscarsowhite-complain

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1 Comment

One Response to “The Oscars: Controversy”

  1. Alex on February 24th, 2015 8:14 am

    I really liked this article. People need to be more aware of things like this, of how people of color are completely being ignored when it comes to award shows.

    [Reply]

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The Oscars: Controversy