Oh, no, not again. For many movie fans, Thursday’s Oscar nominations brought a dispiriting feeling of deja vu.
For the second consecutive year, no minorities were nominated in any of the four acting categories. One year after the critically acclaimed “Selma” was largely snubbed by academy voters, sparking protests, actors and filmmakers of color are again being ignored — and Twitter is not happy.
“It’s actually worse than last year. Best Documentary and Best Original Screenplay. That’s it. #OscarsSoWhite,” tweeted April Reign, an editor who was credited with launching that hashtag in protest after last year’s nominations were announced.
Idris Elba had been expected to score a nomination for his performance as a rebel commander of child soldiers in “Beasts of No Nation,” but he was passed over. Other hopefuls such as “Concussion” star Will Smith, “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan, that movie’s writer-director, Ryan Coogler, and the cast of N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” also were ignored.
The best original screenplay nomination noted by Reign went to the co-writers of “Compton” — both of whom are white.
Again, #OscarsSoWhite was trending on social media, with some people noting the irony of black comedian Chris Rock presiding over a February 28 ceremony in which no minority actors are honored.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has faced criticism for years that its members, who vote on the Oscars, lack diversity and are out of touch. The Rev. Jesse Jackson led protests at the 1996 Academy Awards over perceptions of racism in Hollywood.
Such complaints ebbed somewhat in recent years, as movies with largely black casts such as “The Help,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “12 Years a Slave” won Oscar recognition.
But protests flared anew last year when the civil rights drama “Selma,” despite widespread praise for director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo, was nominated only for best picture and best original song.