Another year has begun, and with that an early January morning has given birth to a new set of Oscar nominations. The funny thing about these new Oscar nominations is that they are eerily similar to nominations that have been revealed in the past; they are practically devoid of any diversity. This is especially evident in the overt lack of minorities in many of the main categories and the lack of women nominees in the directing category.
The lone exception (if you exclude The Weeknd who is nominated for best song) is Alejandro G. Iñárritu who is nominated for Best Director for his work on The Revenant. With this honor, Iñárritu becomes the first Mexican born nominee for Best Director. What happened in all the other categories? Were there no actors of color that were worthy of being nominated? What happened to the buzz around Straight of Compton and Beasts of No Nation? With only the former being present with a nod in the Best Screenplay category, there was no nod for Idris Elba, F. Gary Gray, or any others.
The highest grossing movie of 2015 features a female and an African American male lead and the sad thing about the Oscars is that they are biased. No, not biased with regards to race and gender (some would argue differently), but biased against certain types of movies. With the exception of Mad Max: Fury Road (which I feel is so overrated), most of the major nominations are given out to dramas that the general movie goer has no knowledge of (hello Room and Spotlight) and typically those films don’t feature minorities in acting roles nor do they have women or minorities behind the camera.
With minority and women driven films increasing their appeal and staying power at the box office, the voting body of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science needs to broaden its scope of what an Oscar worthy film is. No not all films and performances should be nominated, but whole genres of films should not be excluded because they do not fit the mold. Once that diversity is achieved, then maybe just maybe the nominations will be inclusive to the industry as a whole.