The controversy surrounding this year’s Academy Awards™ nominations, and the whiteness thereof, has already reached the highest office in the land, so of course former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was bound to be asked to weigh in. To paraphrase every Oscar Awards presenter ever, the Oscar for Reacting to #OscarsSoWhite goes to Anne O. Dyne:
I think that it is overdue, but the Academy announced that they’re going to be making some changes, as they should. Just think of the great films that really display, not just the diversity of America, but the diversity of the human experience, and therefore the Academy has to catch up with our reality.
That lukewarm reaction is essentially a shorter, more lukewarm version of President Obama‘s reaction to the controversy, but with a key difference that will surely be noticed by people following this issue. Whereas the President called for more diversity in film, Hillary’s statement seems to indicate that the films are there, and the Academy just ha to start recognizing them. Both things need to happen, the films need to become more diverse, and the awards need to reflect at the very least what diversity there is now.
It’s not just a matter of better art, though, but of better business. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has somehow managed to stay relevant despite its cloistered cultural view, but that won’t last forever. Almost every other form of popular entertainment has seen their premier awards show diminish in relevance over their refusal to live in the present. When’s the last time anyone cared about a Grammy award? That’s where Oscar is headed if it keeps snubbing films people actually watch in favor of films that stoke white vanity.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.