Last year was the appetizer of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy; the inaugural year of social media establishing a firm grapple of the narrative surrounding the Academy Awards, and black actors and actresses’ lack of representation during their ceremony. This year, it has taken on a fuller form in both intensity and scope, leading to the president, Barack Obama, commenting on what it means for both the entertainment world and American society.
As a whole, the industry should do what every other industry should do, which is to look for talent, and provide opportunity to everybody. I think the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue of: Are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?
Obama’s made an imperative point here, and big studios, movies directors and actors aren’t the only people who could use a diversity audit. Also, as Ava DuVernay put it, making sure persons of color are getting a fair shake at the same opportunities as their white counterparts isn’t a diversity project. It’s an authenticity one.