Are The White Oscars Truly That Problematic?


by SavvyRoo on Jan 28, 2016 | Views: 69 | Score: 0

The Oscars have generated quite a stir this year, as many prominent actors and directors claim that they will boycott the award ceremony due to the over-abundance of perceived racism present within the institution. Protesting the lack of diversity and the ostensible bias toward the performances of white males, Will Smith, Spike Lee and others will be sitting out this Oscar season. But is the problem of the "White Oscars" as big as it appears to be?

I'd Like To Thank The Old, White, Male Academy

WhiteOver 50 years oldMale
% of Academy Award Voters that are...948677
Demographics
%
Sources: latimes.com

According to a recent survey done by the LA Times, the minority communities may indeed have reason to protest. The Academy, the group of individuals that ultimately make the Oscar winner selections, is primarily composed of older, white men. Despite being about 63 percent of the US population, whites make up nearly 95 percent of the members of the Academy.

Simply A Reflection Of The Industry?

WhiteOther Minority
2015 Oscar-Nominated Directors385
Directors In The Industry87.812.2
Race
%

Although there is an undeniable abundance of whites within the academy, the real question is whether or not the racial composition of the academy influences their decisions. In 2015, only 5 minority directors were nominated for an Oscar, compared to 38 white directors. At first glance, that may seem like repugnant racism, but when one investigates the racial composition of the industry itself, one can view the bigger picture. The percent of Oscar-nominated minority directors almost perfectly mirrors their presence within Hollywood. The issue then, is not racism within the Academy, but rather the number of minority directors.

Is It Really A Problem?

Do you think that the movie industry is racially diverse enough or not? % of Americans that said...
Diverse enough54
Not sure / No opinion16
Not diverse enough30

Not really, according to a small majority of Americans. A recent poll by YouGov found that only three in ten Americans believe that the movie industry is not racially diverse enough. Similarly, less than 20 percent of Americans believe that the smaller number of non-white actors in Hollywood is a result of some form of bias or discrimination against non-whites.

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