If you pay attention to such things, you may have heard that the 2015 Oscar Nominations were announced yesterday.
If you pay attention to other such things, you have have noticed something about them.
It’s a sausage fest. A white one at that. A weisswurst, if you will.
I’m not the only one who noticed.
Even for the Oscars — even for the Oscars — this is a really, really lot of white people. Every nominated actor in Lead and Supporting categories — 20 actors in all — is white.
Every nominated director is male. Every nominated screenwriter is male. [My note: That’s for both screenwriting categories, original and adapted. Also, every nominated cinematograher is male.]
It’s not just about the Academy “snubbing” women and people of color. It’s that for the large part, movies are being written and directed by white men, and starring people who all look the same.
Edited to add one more quote:
I’m disheartened by the fact that not a single one of the eight Best Picture nominees features a female protagonist […] the continued exclusion, devaluation, and disdain of women’s stories and female creatives, especially at the “prestige” level,” will only drive women away from the movies (to TV, for instance) — and contribute to the death of cinema as we know it.
— Inkoo Kang, News Editor at Women and Hollywood and Film Critic at TheWrap, via IndieWire.
A movie is a story. A lot of times, movies tell important stories. They tell them from a point of view. They expose you to new ways of seeing the world.
And when the majority of those movies are being controlled – through the writing and directing – by a homogeneous group – we’re getting the same point of view, over and over.
We’ve gotten to the point in the Western world where [most] of the big victories for women and people of color have been achieved. We can all work the same jobs, for [sort of] the same pay, we can take family [maternity] leave and our jobs are protected. We can go to the same colleges, enroll in the same programs. We can start our own businesses. We can get elected to congress [but don’t, in the same numbers as white men]. We can vote. We can make informed reproductive decisions. We can never get married, and never have children, and still live wonderful, meaningful lives. We can run marathons. Lift heavy things. Fight for our country, even on the front lines, and even on submarines.
So, yeah, equality, we’re [getting] there.
Now all the fights that need to be fought [in the first world] are the subtle, nuanced ones.
Representation is important. It opens our eyes to different experiences. It provides a richer point of view. It promotes inclusivity.
You can vote for representation in your government. I encourage you to do so.
But the silver screen is a big deal. The media is still very pursuasive. And when you’re hearing stories from the same point of view, over and over? That does not provide for a very rich, inclusive experience.
The media is not only a representation of our society, but a driver as well.
And we should care when only one specific group is being represented, and driving the messages.