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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Will The Oscars Honor the Black Experience?

The issue of color has lately been in the forefront of the major award bodies, especially in the acting academy. The SAG, which is the voting arm of the actors, has been under fire for the past few years now, for failing to include other races in the major awards.
Well, this year, that issue was emphatically addressed as two of the Best Ensemble Acting Nominees (their equivalent for Best Picture), were about the experiences of African-Americans and Africans themselves.
I was actually shocked but very pleased to see Beasts of No Nation and Straight Outta Compton in the SAG's Best Film Ensemble Acting award because it boosts the chances of these two films to get a coveted Oscar Best Picture nomination.
What's good about these movies is that they truly reflect the black man's experience and the issues they deal with - and it's also very rare for the acting guild to honor a group of black actors in a movie - so these 1-2 punch really shakes things up for the future of diversity in award nominations.
Idris Elba though, from Beasts of No Nation, is the only actor of color to get a SAG nomination. I hope his name pushes through to the more coveted Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
The acting guild has the largest population in the Academy and these films are acting-driven, so all the help is needed to ensure that either of the two get the #1 vote in the Oscar ballots, for them to snag an Oscar Best Picture nomination.
Since the awards are normally just icing on the cake, it is very important for Hollywood to tell the story of the many different faces of the American population - from the African-Americans, to the Latinos, to the Asian-Americans and the native Americans.
If the SAG nominations want to reflect diversity, there should be diverse movies about all the different races, otherwise, it will always be an all-white affair.

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