2016 the Academy of Arts and Science will shamefully celebrate 88 years of awarding actors, actresses, directors, writers, editors, makeup artist, song writers, hair stylist, costume designers, foreign film makers and many more the prestigious, “crème de la crème” Oscar awards and still, Blacks are practically shut out by 98%. When Oscar was first televised in May of 1929, Blacks were not considered nor did they have roles as movie stars. By 1938, many supporting roles had been created for Blacks like that of the maid played by Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind. Hattie was the very first African American to win the prestigious award for Best Supporting Actress in 1939. No other Black Actor would win an Oscar for 24 years until Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field in 1963. It would take another 38 years before another Black would win an Oscar. In 2001, Denzel Washington won a Best Actor Oscar for Training Day and Halle Berry won a Best Actress Oscar the same night for Monster’s Ball. Later that same evening, Sidney Poitier received his 2nd Oscar “for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence”. Many felt as if the Academy was trying to get “THE BLACKS” out of the way, ALL AT ONCE, THREE in one night after dead silence, despite 8 nominations, during those 38 years. Will Smith was also nominated in the Best Actor category for his brilliant portrayal of Mohammad Ali, the same night, but loss to Denzel Washington. I might add that Sidney Poitier had been nominated for Best Actor in 1958 for his role as Noah Cullen in the “Defiant Ones”, but did not win.
Blacks women would indeed begin to win Oscars but lets take a look at the kinds of roles that became available to them. 5 of these 6 wins are for Best Supporting Actress. The only Black Best Actress win in the history of the Academy went to Halle Berry, shown below.
Jennifer Hudson was the only Black Best Supporting Actress who won with a substantial role as Effie White in the musical, Dreamgirls. All together there were 9 Black Best Actress nominations and 1 win; 13 Black Best Supporting Actress nominations and 6 wins, over 88 years of Oscars.
Some actors and actresses like Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee are calling for a boycott of the 88th Oscars. Many are uncertain about a boycott move against the academy. One thing is for sure, something needs to be done. It’s very clear that for the most part, Blacks are being ignored when it comes to the movies. Either we are integrated or we are segregated. There have been so many snubs in the past i.e., ONLY ONE BLACK FILM HAS EVER WON BEST PICTURE (12 YEARS A SLAVE). That is truly a disgrace. Movies like The Color Purple and and actresses like Diana Ross for Lady Sings the Blues can never get the recognition they should have gotten. Actors like Idris Elba and movies like The Butler and Beast of No Nation have all been snubbed. When is it going to end? Why are all the comic and super hero movies mostly White? This world is NOT mostly White, plus the money made off of movie goers doesn’t just come from Whites. We need to really review the PROBLEM WITH THE ACADEMY AND FIX IT! THEY’RE NOT SO RIGHTEOUS — NOR POLITICALLY CORRECT! Below are more statics to support the Black vs White Academy problems that never end.
Nominations 101 10,896*
Wins 32 2,080**
Special Awards 6 125†
*Based on approximately 125 nominations per year, over 88 years
** Based on approximately 24 wins per year, over 88 years
† Based on 88 years of Academy data from Wikipedia
NOTE: Since there is only one Black nominated this year, 2016 results won’t be affected.
DISPLAYED BELOW, ARE CHARTS THAT DEPICT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PLIGHT DURING THE ENTIRE 88 YEARS OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS, COMPLIMENTS OF WIKIPEDIA!