The Oscars Are Still So White: 2016 Marks the Second Year in a Row for All-White Nominees

Academy Awards see all white nominees in all four acting categories

By Kendall Fisher Jan 14, 2016 5:18 PMTags
Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer LawrenceTwentieth Century Fox/The Weinstein Company

In 2015, protests over the Academy Award nominations erupted over the fact that not one of the 20 acting nods were given to a nonwhite person, leading to an onslaught of social media posts with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

Well, in 2016, we're sure to be seeing #OscarsSTILLSoWhite.

Yes, once again, this year's nominations neglect any nonwhite nominees in all four acting categories. The news is all the more frustrating due to the fact that several films this year focused on African American stories or were dominated with roles played by black performers.

Universal Pictures

For example, Straight Outta Compton and Beasts of No Nation both centered on black stories with a large black cast and were given nods by other awards shows, and yet they will see nothing at the Oscars.

Furthermore, many applaudable roles were displayed by black performers this year: Michael B. Jordan in Creed, Will Smith in Concussion, Idris Elba in Beasts and Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight. Not to mention, there's a strong list of minority performers who were also overlooked: Benicio Del Toro for Sicario, Oscar Isaac for Ex Machina, and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor—two transgender actresses—for Tangerine.

As expected, the Internet has already seen quite a bit of commotion over the news, with big names like Al Sharpton, Octavia Spencer, Rickey Gervais and more tweeting their reactions—once again, using the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite:

Meanwhile, the Academy has made a concerted effort to diversify its typically all-white, older male membership by inviting talented names like David Oyelowo, F. Gary Gray and Gugu Mbatha-Raw to the group.

Last year, the Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, also addressed the diversity issue and announced a new initiative called A2020 to help remedy the problem by encouraging the industry to open up more opportunities for women and minorities.

"The Academy has no power over Hollywood. We have nothing to do with hiring," she said in a statement. "What we can do, however, is to get them to widen their normal stream of thought."

This year, Chris Rock will take over as host for the big show.