Students second guess Oscar’s questionable picks

By: Nolan Nickerson

When the list of Academy Award nominees came out this year, the actors chosen and specifically, not chosen, created a nationwide outcry with one question in mind, where are the black actors?

In a time when racial tensions seem to be peeking due to the Black Lives Matter movement which has been fueled by the killings of unarmed African American males by police all across the country, not one black actor was nominated for an academy award this year, leaving actresses and actors like Jada Pinkett Smith, a black actress who is the wife of Will Smith, to call for a boycott of the Oscars, and Tyrese Gibson, who is known for his role as Roman in the Fast and Furious series, asking Chris Rock to step down as host of the Oscars this year in order to send a message to the Academy Awards.

Ever since the Oscars were created to award brilliance in cinema, only 13 times has a black actor won an academy award, and ever since the formation of the Oscars in 1929, black actors have only been nominated 44 times.

Recently, other black actors have had a different outlook on the situation like Ice Cube who was asked if he would attend the Oscars and responded with, “I never used to go anyway. You can’t boycott something you never went to.”

Ice Cube went on to talk about the movie he produced, Straight Outta Compton, which many feel was snubbed after getting zero nominations this year. “We don’t do movies for the industry. We do movies for the fans, for the people,” he said. “If the industry gives you a trophy or not, or pats you on the back or not, it’s nice, but it’s not something you should dwell on.” He added, “We got accolades from all levels. We got so much praise for the movie.”

The Oscars’ apparent prejudice has left students looking for a change. “If I was an actor, I wouldn’t go to send a message to the people who pick the nominees that we have had enough. It’s time for a change,” senior Drew Walker said.

The reason for the academy not awarding brilliant performances by black actors is unknown, which only makes things look worse in light of its omissions of exemplary performances such as that of black actor Michael B. Jordan for his role as Apollo Creed’s son in the film “Creed” while opting instead for a supporting actor nomination for Sylvester Stallone, who played his classic character Rocky.

Many students agreed that black actors are just as deserving as white actors to receive credit for their work, and the consensus is that skin color shouldn’t play a factor in any decision, especially not for who is deserving of an Oscar. As senior Drew Nida said, “As a minority myself, I feel that the Oscars can be used as a platform for more growth in diversifying society. We have taken major steps in creating an equally represented America, and allowing minority actors to be represented for their hard work would be a step in the right direction.”

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