The fact that the Oscars are decided by old white men is not exactly a surprise and the lack of diversity has been a longstanding issue for the Academy. As the article details, very few actors of color have been nominated or even brought on stage to present awards. Whether the Academy should more accurately represent the racial and gender constitution of the American population or if it should represent those working as professional filmmakers regardless of their identity is something that I’ll leave to be debated among people who specialize in ethnography and gender studies, at least for now.Read the full essay here.
However, the nugget from the Times article that is really most damning about the Academy has little to do with the race, gender, or age. Within the piece, the writers observe that hundreds of academy voters haven't worked on a movie in decades and some are people who have left the movie business entirely but continue to vote on the Oscars. What this means is that the institution that calls itself “the world's preeminent movie-related organization” of "the most accomplished men and women working in cinema" and that the mainstream press treats like the definitive judgement on motion pictures does not make its annual award decisions based upon the opinions of people who are currently working in the business.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Oscar Editorial on Sounds of Cinema
On today's episode of Sounds of Cinema I read an editorial about the (ir)relevance and (il)legitimacy of the Academy Awards. Here is an excerpt: