This Year's Batch of Oscar Nominees is the Whitest in a Decade

As I'm sure everyone's heard by now, Oscar nominations were announced this morning. What you probably didn't here amid all the Hollywood chatter is that this year's nominees are woefully non-diverse (i.e, "pale male"), compared to previous years.

It turns out that last year's crop of Oscar nominees was unusually diverse, as far as these things go, with people of color getting a relatively decent number of nods from the Academy for their acting and producing roles. Jezebel's Irin Carmon:

The years before them usually saw at least one black actor or actress nominated — Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis in 2008, Ruby Dee in 2007, various Dreamgirls nominations, plus Will Smith and Forest Whitaker in 2006, Terence Howard in 2005, and so on.

But not so this year, when not one person of color was nominated for an acting role.

According to this chart, the last year no black actors were nominated was 2000. (There were no directing, producing, or writing nominations that year, either, though there was one for best documentary short. Historically, most of the nominations have been in acting.)

As blogger Melissa McEwan quipped sarcastically today, "Too bad not a single person of color acted in any movies this year."

Clay Cane at BET noted that the lack of black nominees is a symptom of a bigger Hollywood disease:

Sure, one might argue, “There weren’t enough Black films that came out this year!”  But, what’s beyond the surface is the challenge for dramatic Black films to get the green light in Hollywood.

This has also proven to be a relatively disappointing year for women nominees in non-acting roles. Unlike last year, when a female director took home the top award (Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker), no women are up for Best Director this year -- although two women-directed films (The Kids Are All Right and Winter's Bone) are nominated for Best Picture.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at January 25, 2011, 7:16am

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