Today marks one week until the 90th annual Oscars ceremony! As a person who lives and breathes all things cinema, I’m extremely excited to tune in and see if my Oscar predictions are correct. Though the Oscars have always been about entertainment, they have also been a point of controversy.
Back in 2016, we saw how the world reacted when there were no black actors nominated in any category, though there were plenty of films with black roles (like Creed and Straight Outta Compton) that were only nominated for the roles of white actors, directors, and writers. At the 2018 Golden Globes, we saw how women were left out of some of the categories. Lady Bird won Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, but the director and screenplay writer, Greta Gerwig, didn’t get nominated for Best Director. I was completely dumbfounded. How can a film win in a Best Motion Picture category and not have the director be nominated for Best Director?
There are so many talented actors and actresses that don’t get recognition in the entertainment business. Underrepresentation has long been a problem in Hollywood, and it’s time that the streak is broken. There have only been five (five!) black directors nominated for Best Director in Oscar history—the latest being Jordan Peele for Get Out—and none of them have ever won the esteemed award. Only five (FIVE!) women have ever been nominated for Best Director—the latest being Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird—and only one (Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker ) has ever won the award. No black female director has ever been nominated in the Best Director category.
It’s clear that the Oscars have historically had inclusivity issues—leaving out some of the best performances by women and people of color that Hollywood has ever seen. So what can you do to change this? Support minority actors, directors, and writers. Pay to go see their films in movie theaters and recommend some of your favorite performances to your friends and people you know. If you went to see an awesome movie with a diverse cast and crew, post about it on social media and suggest other people check it out.
The Oscars are a way to celebrate the awesome entertainment that cinema puts forth into the world. Good movies evoke emotions—great movies evoke change. When you support the creative work of minorities in the entertainment business, you’re supporting people who have to work twice as hard to make their voices heard. So step out of your movie-viewing comfort zone! Plus, who doesn’t love a night of movies and popcorn?