News & Politics

Obama Weighs In on #OscarsSoWhite

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Part of the reason why so many in the mainstream have trouble taking Black Lives Matter seriously is because the movement pretends as though we live in either 1960 or 1860. In those days, the fight for racial equality took place in the context of Jim Crow and literal slavery. Today, it takes place in the context of who was nominated for an Oscar.

President Obama, a black man in the last year of his second elected term, chimed in on the controversy which has arisen since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their list of nominees without a single person of color recognized for best performance. From The Hill:

“I think that California is an example of the incredible diversity of this country,” Obama said during a series of interviews with local news stations. “That’s a strength. I think that when everyone’s story is told then that makes for better art.

“It makes for better entertainment it makes everybody feel part of one American family, so I think as a whole the industry should do what every other industry should do which is to look for talent, provide opportunity to everybody. And I think the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue. Are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?”

It’s a good thing Hollywood has Obama to tell them that they should look for talent. I’m sure the industry hadn’t thought of that.

The fact of the matter is, as many have pointed out, the industry is recognizing its best talent. The year’s best performances happened to have been turned in by white actors, just as many NBA players happen to be black, and many hockey players have a “ski” somewhere in their name.

Collider Video senior producer John Campea nails it here: