Diversity and the Oscars

“The diversity issue — as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway — did not come up.” Stephen King

Hello and Happy Sunday everyone.

It’s almost time for The Oscars again and since the nominees for 2020 have been officially announced, there has been a lot of talk about how little diversity there is among this year’s Oscar nods. I was especially shocked to learn that my favorite novelist Stephen King is allowed to nominate people for best picture, best-adapted screenplay, and best screenplay. But what really got to me was when he said that the subject of diversity never came up. I have a problem with that statement because in a racist and sexist society such as ours it is on everyone’s minds when it comes to films these days so how can he and everyone else who votes, not be mindful of the fact that one race or gender of people, particularly white males are favored as nominees over any other race or gender?

Well, I can tell you why. It’s because he is a white male, so it doesn’t matter to him. If he had been a woman or of a different ethnic than yes, it would matter to him. He has been getting a lot of backlash over his statement on the subject, but I can understand why people are so ticked off. He made it seem like it was unimportant even though this is something that people have been talking about and trying to change for the past few years. When the Oscars have spent decades purposely excluding the work of African Americans, even though they work just as hard  and are just as talented as their white counterparts in this industry, yet literally have had to struggle to get decent roles and to get an Oscar nomination. I have always felt that it was unfair. I feel that women have never really had to worry about this as much because there has been plenty of white females over the years who have won Oscars. But the number of black females is unfortunately low.

Racism and sexism in the film industry still exist and it is a problem that should not be taken lightly or ignored. Last year I cried when director Spike Lee finally won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film Black Klansman. Why? Because look how long it took. He’s been making movies since the early 1990s and his films were good. It should not have taken this long for him to finally win. But it did. Getting an Oscar does not define anyone in the film industry and even when they lose, they are still great at what they do and will continue to do their job to the best of their ability. But getting an Oscar does let them know that they are above average among their peers and that all of their hard work was not in vain. And for people who have been working hard in this industry, some for many years to finally get that golden statue means that they have finally arrived, that they are respected in this industry in a way that they have never been before.

Author Stephen King should consider all that he had to do to get to where he is right now and remember that everyone else should have that same chance. Not just the usual types of people that always seem to land on top.

Until next time…

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