January 15, 2015

"At The Oscar Nominations, It's A Good Year To Be An Idiosyncratic Man."

The headline, at NPR, for analysis by Linda Holmes. You have to scroll down to get to the part I was googling to find:
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.
The actor nominees are all white people! You'd think that — at least for show — they'd have felt compelled to nominate the man who went to all that trouble to impersonate Martin Luther King Jr. (in "Selma"). That took effort. You have to really want a whites-only slate to exclude him. (His name, which everyone is now free — at last! — to forget, is David Oyelowo.)

But I'd also noticed how very male-centered the nominated movies are. Holmes says:
• Every nominated director is male. Every nominated screenwriter is male.

• ... Every Best Picture nominee here is predominantly about a man or a couple of men, and seven of the eight are about white men, several of whom have similar sort of "complicated genius" profiles, whether they're real or fictional....
So... "It's A Good Year To Be An Idiosyncratic Man"... but shouldn't it be "It's An Especially Good Year To Be An Idiosyncratic Man"? Movies about an idiosyncratic man are the norm and have been for a long time. Think of all the trailers that begin "In a world where... one man..." Here are "The 10 best 'In a world...' movie trailers."

You'd think Martin Luther King Jr. would fit right in as that one man in a world.

But no. From Oscar's point of view, 2014 was An Especially Good Year To Be An Idiosyncratic White Man.

ADDED: Oscar's answer is: Hey, we did "12 Years a Slave" last year! Wasn't that enough for you?! That is, basically the same argument as: Hey, we elected a black President! Can we stop talking about race now? The answer, even for Hollywood, is: no.

103 comments:

chickelit said...

Holder and Sharpton should fly out to Hollywood and march!

chickelit said...

Althouse added: Oscar's answer is: Hey, we did "12 Years a Slave" last year! Wasn't that enough for you?!

Do you have a link for that or are you just making it up?

Eric said...

Movie people are evil. QED

jr565 said...

There is no quota system for actors being nominated based on race.
There can be only 5 nominees. There is no requirement that there has to a black nominee.
Are there any latinos? Any Asians? I don't hear people making racial arguments about their absence.

Fernandinande said...

White people are bad. White men are the worst: they keep doing things.

chickelit said...
Holder and Sharpton should fly out to Hollywood and march!


Maybe they should make some movies.

Maybe Linda Holmes should make some movies.

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you have a link for that or are you just making it up?"

I'm reading the mind of a statuette.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: You'd think that — at least for show — they'd have felt compelled to nominate the man who went to all that trouble to impersonate Martin Luther King Jr. (in "Selma"). That took effort.

Shorter Althouse: More actor affirmation!

rehajm said...

#BlackActorsLivesMatter

jr565 said...

"But I'd also noticed how very male-centered the nominated movies are. Holmes says:
• Every nominated director is male. Every nominated screenwriter is male."
Most big name directors are male. Did katherine bigelow put out a movie this year? So then, of the the movies put out by women, who make up a smaller pool, how many are oscar calibre?

Scott M said...

So...if there are only five allowed nominations for a given category, and seven examples are so far above the rest of the pack that you have trouble picking five (who are all white male), you think it's still valid to drop down to 8th best or lower to dredge up a woman or non-white man? Simply to be inclusive?

This is supposed to be an awards ceremony. The best of the best.

jr565 said...

Maybe women directors just sucked this year.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Maybe all cultures aren't equally talented in all areas.

Donal said...

Selma wasn't eligible for this years Oscars - it had to be released before December 31.

Kevin said...


In regards to electing our first black President. Some folks cannot tolerate that a black man can and should be just as free to be a complete failure as a President as a white man.

Any other conclusion is racist.

jr565 said...

I'm trying to think of any notable black actors this year who had a performance worthy of an Oscar. MAYBE the guy in Selma. though as someone stated, he wasn't eligible for an oscar for this year. And in truth I haven't seen the movie so can't comment on the performance. People say it was good though.

But beyond that, who? Denzel in the Equalizer?

The Drill SGT said...

There are 4 top actor slots. In the last 4 years, that's 16 awards

2 to Black women. 12%

of the last 4 years, 1 to a black film and at least one other nomination

Django unchained

25% awards

that seems like a fair number. a lot more than zero Hispanic oriented or asian featured films

jr565 said...

yup, Selma was released January 9th, so not eligible.

pm317 said...

Is there a quota system in the US now? that blacks should get a piece of everything?

Curious George said...

"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."

You can substitute "the Oscars" with the "NPR Board" and "nominated actor" with "board member". All whites. Even that fat slob moron Linda Holmes is white.

Liberals never look within.

JAORE said...

You'd think that — at least for show — they'd have felt compelled to nominate ...

For "show"? For shame.

CWJ said...

Race is the only filter. Well that and gender. So yeah race and gender are the only filters...and gay. And Jews. OK, race, gender, gay, and jews are the only filters, but that's it! And evil corporations (but not the studios).

Zeb Quinn said...

This'd be like looking at the NBA all star game and demanding whites and women out there on the floor. But what if they're not as good as all those black players? Doesn't matter.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Selma wasn't eligible for this years Oscars - it had to be released before December 31. "

-- I believe there were limited releases to some theaters to make the deadline.

Ann Althouse said...

"In regards to electing our first black President. Some folks cannot tolerate that a black man can and should be just as free to be a complete failure as a President as a white man. Any other conclusion is racist."

On one side you have people who -- without directly saying it -- try to silence opponents by making you worry that criticizing the black President makes you look racist.

On the other side you have people who are so eager to get past having to discuss race that they want the election of a black President to work as conclusive proof that race discrimination and its vestiges are over and we can move forward in colorblindness.

Both are wrong, and everyone needs to learn to see both bad arguments and not be gulled by them. When one is mentioned, you don't overcome it by asserting that, no, it's this OTHER argument that's the real one. Both arguments are bad and neither is cancelled out by the other.

Ann Althouse said...

"Selma wasn't eligible for this years Oscars - it had to be released before December 31."

It was nominated for Best Picture.

Matthew Sablan said...

Maybe the plan is to award Selma best picture and the Oscar people are trying to prevent any single movie from walking off with most of the awards as has sometimes happened?

traditionalguy said...

That proves it. Being a free and creative person is clearly a white man's conspiracy.

We need an Idiosyncratic Dictatress Film Czar for Life...but no Asians or Hispanics need apply until they prove theytoo can manipulate a big fantasy.

Big Mike said...

Be more upset about Angelina Jolie not being nominated for "Unbroken."

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people just flirt with the ideology, for peer pressure reasons, professional reasons,because everyone else in the collective is doing it.

This needs to change...that's unfair...'they' have all the money, power etc. 'We're' the only ones who care of have feelings.

Gradually though, that fun pair of glasses can become a permanent pair of lenses.

Race, class, gender, corporations, the poor, the victims, white males....one more protest, Johnny, just one more.

At the very least it makes people dull and predictable, spouting bad statistics, making all kinds of category errors, justifying all sorts unexamined moral thinking and moralism, eroding and attacking (out of weakness, often) ideas and 'common sense' that often make a lot more sense,

...at worst it can activate and radicalize some people into craziness, or amplify some of the crazy that was already there, like all movements it deals with the stuff of human nature.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's an example of the predictions:

-----------------

The Locks:
1. Michael Keaton, "Birdman"
2. Eddie Redmayne, "Theory of Everything"

Seven Men, Three Slots:
3. Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"
4. Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"
5. David Oyelowo, "Selma"
6. Ralph Fiennes, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
7. Steve Carell, "Foxcatcher"
8. Bradley Cooper, "American Sniper"

Very Long Shots Given The Competition:

9. Timothy Spall, "Mr. Turner"
10. Oscar Isaac, "A Most Violent Year"
11. Miles Teller, "Whiplash"
12. Bill Murray, "St. Vincent"
13. Joaquin Phoenix, "Inherent Vice"
14. Ellar Coltrane, "Boyhood"
15. John Lithgow, "Love is Strange"

--------------

Both "locks" made it. Three of the "Seven Men, Three Slots" made it -- Cooper, Cumberbatch, and Carrell. None of the "very long shots" mad eit. You can see that Oyelowo was in the second group.

MayBee said...

You only have to release to one theatre in LA county to be Oscar Eligible.

Selma was nominated for Best Picture.

Big Mike said...

In the 1960's I marched for a color blind America. We're further away from that goal than we were back when I was marching.

AJ Lynch said...

Don't you think it is curious they did not choose an African American actor to play MLK in the Selma movie?

Clayton Hennesey said...

But beyond that, who? Denzel in the Equalizer?

As much fun as the refry of The Equalizer might have been as a beat-em-up action show, conceptually it was no match for its small screen parent, and Denzel's acting was largely restricted to making existential or dead-eyed faces while playing Girl Scout to a troop of Diverse People. This was no Flight.

And by the same token, i.e., not gratuitously debasing black actors to score a race card, Davis Oyelowo was probably spared the humiliation Chiwetel Ejiofor suffered in 12 Years by not being associated with the revisionist Selma.

Oyelowo should look forward to his own Serenitys and Savannahs instead, far better roles and performances.

lemondog said...

Per Wiki:

Selma premiered at the American Film Institute Festival on November 11, 2014, began a limited U.S. release on December 25, and expanded into wide theatrical release on January 9, 2015.

MayBee said...

Maybe the people who do the nominating got sick of the post-nomination game, If XXXX Doesn't Win, the Voters are Racist.

So they didn't want to put anyone in who really really didn't deserve it, just for the feel good.

Seriously. Can we stop the race in everything business?

Jeff Gee said...

Only three of the five best actor nominees are white Americans. Only two of the best actress nominees are white Americans.

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe the plan is to award Selma best picture and the Oscar people are trying to prevent any single movie from walking off with most of the awards as has sometimes happened?"

You need to read up on who does the nominating to understand how that can't be a plan. Only actors nominate for the actors categories.

Anonymous said...

And what kind of silly scold looks at the movies and sees only this kind of thing?

What kind of influential national radio network often turns on the worm of warmed over 60's activism and progressive coalition politics...a faculty-lounge type mix of sheepish white-bread and strange traveling, activating bedfellows?

Jake said...

"You'd think that — at least for show — they'd have felt compelled to nominate the man who went to all that trouble to impersonate Martin Luther King Jr. (in "Selma")."

Or maybe Hollywood is comfortably living in a post-racial world. Maybe they're judging actors on the content of their character as opposed to the color of their skin.

Who's really living by the words of MLK, Jr.? Hollywood folks that didn't (apparently) feel they had to nominate a person of color for making "an effort." Or, the whiners saying a person of color should have been nominated to ensure the quotas were met.

CWJ said...

Oh heck!

We already have best actor and best actress. Just throw in best directress, best screenwritress, best cinematographess etc. and he done with it.

We have best actor/actress in a supporting role. So add best actor/actress in a minority role.

There. Problems solved.

It's not like the Oscar broadcast couldn't use a little padding.

BDNYC said...

I don't know enough about the categories this year to have an opinion, but my general sense over the years is that the Academy is fairly racist and thinks tokenism is enough to insulate itself against charges of racism. I think they have a delusional concept of themselves as engines of social change, but in reality it's all about rewarding the "right people" and congratulating themselves.

This isn't surprising in Hollywood.

John Lynch said...

They didn't nominate "The Lego Movie." How did that happen?

MadisonMan said...

I've actually seen an actress in the Oscar-nominated role: Meryl Streep in Into the Woods. My first venture into a movie theater in 2 or 3 years!

Streep is no Peters, but she was very good, but I've nothing to compare her performance to.

Quaestor said...

You'd think that — at least for show — they'd have felt compelled to nominate the man who went to all that trouble to impersonate Martin Luther King Jr. (in "Selma").

Impersonate? Actors have a word for what they do with a character taken from history, which is the same word for a invented character. They portray. To impersonate carries the color of deception, as in impersonating a law enforcement officer.

I understand Oprah Winfrey and her film have come under criticism for alleged inaccuracies. Is Althouse offering a condemnation here?

Renee said...

"Shine on them RT @lifeofthecarter: I'm ready for some "black films" that aren't about slavery/segregation to get proper shine and promotion."


https://twitter.com/TheCosby/status/555730803385450496?lang=en

Anonymous said...

(Tearful, upset) Leave the movies alone!

tim in vermont said...

I think the government should have complete control over who gets Oscars and who doesn't.


I mean, getting an Oscar means a movie is good, so the government should be distributing the production of good movies more fairly.

I mean, admit it people, we all watch Brokeback Mountain every time it is on still, amirite?

mikee said...

The Academy Awards are a publicity program designed to promote attendance at movies. Nothing more.

Looking at the nominations or awards as anything other than self-affirmation for those in the industry is akin to having a celebrity testify at a Senate hearing on pesticide use - nothing more than foolishness.

And yes I am not worried about Alar on my apples.

mikee said...

I quit caring about the opinions of actors when I was informed that actress was an incorrect description of a female actor.

I refuse to let the caterpillars of the world, sitting atop their mushrooms smoking their hookas, decide what words means.

chillblaine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

On MLK weekend, the story of his leadership of a non-violent movement needs telling. But Hollywood is not going to tell it for what it was. It was the old story of the success of the faith called Christianity when put into action.

Matthew Sablan said...

Huh. For some reason I thought the Oscars nominations were chosen by something else. Oh well, so much for crazy reason A.

Crazy Reason B is that it was a hard choice, and someone's going to get passed over.

Quaestor said...

On the other side you have people who are so eager to get past having to discuss race that they want the election of a black President to work as conclusive proof that race discrimination and its vestiges are over and we can move forward in colorblindness.

Honestly, I've never heard anyone make this argument.

On one side you have people who -- without directly saying it -- try to silence opponents by making you worry that criticizing the black President makes you look racist.

I'm glad someone is paying attention.

chillblaine said...

I don't want to indulge in lazy stereotyping, but how many of the nominees for "Best Makeup" or "Best Costume Design" were female?

Balfegor said...

Re: AJ Lynch:

Don't you think it is curious they did not choose an African American actor to play MLK in the Selma movie?

No more than that White British actors are regularly cast as Americans. Like Batman. Or Nixon. Or Lyndon B. Johnson and George Wallace in Selma.

It is a common thing.

Quaestor said...

I don't want to indulge in lazy stereotyping...

The invaluable Wikipedia knows all, tells all.

The dominance of Edith Head jumps out, but a few men have made their mark in the costume shop.

And there's Max Factor...

jr565 said...

Why are eskimos continually underrepresented in Hollywood? Similarly, with american indians

jr565 said...

balfegor wrote:
No more than that White British actors are regularly cast as Americans. Like Batman. Or Nixon. Or Lyndon B. Johnson and George Wallace in Selma.

On the Wire, stringer Bell and McNulty were both played by brits. They're taking our cops and drug dealing roles, damn it. And superheroes too.
Spidey was a brit? A damn brit?

virgil xenophon said...

OK, Ann, two others here have made the point about quotas for whites in the NBA (jr565, Zeb Quin( but you deleted my:

"I'll worry about all this when the NBA has quotas for 5'812" white guys."

HowcomeHowcomeHowcome???

MY comment is objectionable but the others are not!?

Beldar said...

I go see movies from time to time.

I stopped paying attention to the Oscars in 1969 when they didn't even nominate "2001: A Space Odyssey" for Best Picture. What the Academy says about movies stopped interesting me.

The Academy's nominations and awards aren't even a useful proxy for decent movie reviews, which fortunately I can find online and which, even more fortunately, aren't written by the self-absorbed narcissists in the movie business.

I could not possibly care less about what the Academy does or doesn't do, who it does or doesn't nominate, and whether they're male, female, black, white, American, non-American, or whatever.

Balfegor said...

jr565:
Spidey was a brit? A damn brit?

THAT's who it was! I knew there was another iconic American superhero who was being played by an British actor. Spiderman!

Oh, and Superman too, come to think of it. Actually I was probably thinking of Superman (I looked up Captain America just to check, but I guess he's actually played by an American, not an Englishman or a Canadian or anything).

Quaestor said...

It is a common thing.

It may be because British actors often sound much more convincing as Southerners than do American actors, who tend to originate from the Northeast or California.

David O. Selznick ran into this problem when trying to cast "Gone With the Wind." Selznick had a free hand in casting every character except Rhett Butler, that role being reserved for Clarke Gable by popular acclaim. Most of the other leads went to English or Irish actors, who sounded authentic in their roles, while Rhett Butler sounded like he came from Cadiz, Ohio instead of Charleston.

MayBee said...

Thor is Australian, but I'm not sure if he is an American Superhero.

MayBee said...

In the Sest Actress category, it's two Brits, one Frenchette, and two Americans.

Very diverse.

Beldar said...

By the way, I also have never heard anyone argue that Obama's election was conclusive proof that "conclusive proof that race discrimination and its vestiges are over and we can move forward in colorblindness."

For one thing, that collapses and then ignores the distinction between private, personal discrimination on the basis of race and official, government-mandated discrimination on the basis of race.

I still speak out against the latter, because I believe that current governmental discrimination on the basis of race is still on-going and that it's in violation of the Constitution. I'm a Fourteenth Amendment literalist, and would have the government comply with it by taking no further account of race for any purpose — no sorting by race anymore, period — not even questions in the census.

But I don't believe that this kind of overwrought hysteria about race — "OMG, the Oscar nominees are all white, there must be something horribly wrong with that and it can only be the result of a hateful racist conspiracy!" — contributes at all toward reducing, much less eliminating, private racism. I am quite confident that it oftentimes does the opposite of that, and is here.

The Drill SGT said...

Let's face it, on a per capita basis, British actors are better trained in general, and they are a lot better trained in accents.


Big Mike said...
Be more upset about Angelina Jolie not being nominated for "Unbroken."


It was a patriotic movie that clearly makes the US Military look good, and shows what torture looks like.

No evil CIA, no Americans committing war crimes.

No way she was gonna get nominated...

Birches said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What's missing from this conversation is evidence.

If there were something going on, I'd want to see those that were nominated, specifically, against those that were not nominated, and see how they stack up.

It's one thing to speak of it in the abstract, but tell me who or what film was nominated and didn't deserve to be?

Birches said...

The reality is that Selma's makers probably thought they had the thing in the bag because of diversity optics and didn't grease the wheels, so to speak, with the Academy voters.

William said...

I haven't seen the movie about Alan Turing, but the ads indicate that it's a spy thriller with Keira Knightley playing the romantic interest of the hero.......Would it have been too much of a reach to have Jamie Fox play the role of Stephen Hawking?. Also he could use his superhuman powers of deduction to solve crimes instead of getting all bogged down in that black hole crap.. Perhaps his wheelchair could be equipped with a rocket booster for the big chase scene,

Birches said...

Or perhaps the Academy decided to trade in their love of race for their love of Science!. See, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game.

lgv said...

Every single industry should be required to be racially represented in proportion to the general population.

All awards and nominations should be likewise.

The NBA and NFL should be limited to 15% African Americans (half women). Same for all state and local government jobs. This limitation will free up some people to do more motion pictures.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Seventy plus comments and no one's asked what percentage of nominees are LGBTQI*?

Sam L. said...

The HORROR! The horror...

Balfegor said...

Re: Quaestor:

It may be because British actors often sound much more convincing as Southerners than do American actors, who tend to originate from the Northeast or California.

A lot of the roles British actors play have midwestern accents, though. That might be hard for a Californian or a Texan or some other American place with a marked accent, but there are plenty of middle American actors who ought to be able to handle Superman von Smallville.

I think if it has anything to do with accent, it's more that actors in the British acting tradition practice dialects and voicing more than actors in the US. Maybe because they have to -- both for domestic and international markets.

Balfegor said...

Re: HoodlumDoodlum:

Seventy plus comments and no one's asked what percentage of nominees are LGBTQI*?

I hardly think they need to worry about that -- isn't the theater one of those professions with a higher than average concentration of homosexuals? That's certainly the old stereotype. John Gielgud, Rock Hudson, that sort of thing.

MayBee said...

I think you're right, Balfegor. Even to play a Londoner, actors have to have the accent for the right neighborhood/social class.
Americans for the most part have much less specific accents. You can do a kind of generically American accent, but you can't do a generically British Accent.

MayBee said...

All 5 leading actor nominees are straight. All 5 leading actress nominees are straight. I think all the supporting actor nominees are straight, too, though I don't know for sure about Edward Norton.

Eddie Redmayne has played gay, and Benedict Cumberbatch is playing gay in this role.

kcom said...

Rick from "The Walking Dead" is a Brit. The South trembles.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Balfegor said...
I think if it has anything to do with accent, it's more that actors in the British acting tradition practice dialects and voicing more than actors in the US. Maybe because they have to -- both for domestic and international markets.

British actors tend to be graduates of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. I don't think there's much other way to get into acting in the UK except to be a RADA graduate. That makes them much more of a known quantity than many US actors.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shanna said...

I'm ready for some "black films" that aren't about slavery/segregation to get proper shine and promotion."

Here here. We've had kind of a run of these the last few years, maybe hollywood is sick of them?

I am a bit surprised about Unbroken, but I don't think I saw any of the nominated movies at all. I want to see the one with Cumberbatch and maybe Into the Woods. Other than that, I never really expected Guardians of the Galaxy to get a nod.

They didn't nominate "The Lego Movie." How did that happen?

Did the Lego movie count as animated?

Andy Krause said...

In other words Oscar is saying that the white males rocked and the rest sucked. I know it, Althouse knows it and you know it, loser.

jimbino said...

Even a random drawing among all the Oscar nominees will sometimes yield all-whites.

Put 100 balls--12 black and 88 white--in a jug and pull out 20 at random. The chances that all 20 will be white are 0.88 to the 20th power.

It takes affirmative action to beat the odds, as in the case of the Supreme Court, where there are no Atheists and no Protestants, Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists.

How did we get 4 Jews on SCOTUS when Jews in the national population number some 1 in 20?

Affirmative action! And unlike the Oscars, we actually have to give a damn!

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

The complaints about the nominees' race obscure the fact that the nominees are, once again, from a bunch of movies hardly anybody saw.

So who cares who they nominate?

Alexander said...

Sine 1986, only two white men have been NBA MVPs. Racism!

Alexander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Skip the nomination phase. Vote for the best in each category, and let everyone else download their Academy Award Certificate of Participation.

Or adopt a playoff format. It worked for college football, it could work for Oscar. Instead of a short list of nominations, expand the field, let a committee with Condoleeza Rice determine seeding, and voters determine the winner of each pair.

wildswan said...

Maybe Hollywood is registering a loss of interest in the fashion for sausage from the grievance factory. That's the thing about fashions - they come and then they go. Nothing to do with right and wrong. I think they lost a lot of money and a lot of audience over the last few years.

And maybe white men will become a fashion. In the old days when I was young an British upper class type was an extremely popular figure in the movies. And now in international distribution, perhaps, individualistic white men investigating strange lore or encountering difficult situations might be attractive, fascinating, to people moving from tribal to individualistic ways.

Anonymous said...

For a littel balance on the subject, see:
http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2015/01/15/here-are-5-facts-vox-ignored-when-it-declared-the-oscars-racist/

paminwi said...

The reason Unbroken did not get many nominations is because the movie is not that great. The book is much, much, much better. You really got a true reading of the man and his story in the book.

Sometimes the liberals in Hollywood get it right.

Michael K said...

"they want the election of a black President to work as conclusive proof that race discrimination and its vestiges are over and we can move forward in colorblindness.

Honestly, I've never heard anyone make this argument. "

I think that sentiment elected Obama twice. A lot of the whites will not admit it, of course. The blacks see it as revenge and they have a better point.

holdfast said...

How was Dragon 2 better than the Lego Movie? Hollywood hates yellow people.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I saw a picture of a group of politicians and the politically-connected with a decent amount of diversity reflected. I initially registered that there were hardly any white men anymore.

But then I did the actual counting. There were 3 black women, 3 black men, 3 white women and 12 white guys.

IOW, well over 50% were still not only white, but white males. All minorities shown got decent token representation at 3 each. I'd say in terms of population percentage of the people included, the white women were doing the worst. African American rep was over the population percentage nationally at 28%. White representation was just under the percentage nationally at 72%. There were no Asians or Hispanics shown.

I found my own initial kneejerk reaction interesting, however, and have moved to correct it.


virgil xenophon said...

It interests me that blacks and the left in general seem to think this is some sort of conservative, "straight" white "plot." In the year 2014? With a "black" President and Attorney General? With the majority of Hollywood developmental staff and script writers and casting personnel either women or homosexuals?

PULeeeeeeze...

I also note the black outrage about this state of affairs seemingly (imho) born of a sense of "entitlement" that is felt to be the just do to black "victims" of racism--historical, institutional and cultural--all wrapped up in sanctimonious moral superiority.

Could this 'tude be justified 50 years ago? Yes. But today? As the camels say in the latest TV ad: "Let it go Sam.."

Revenant said...

On the other side you have people who are so eager to get past having to discuss race that they want the election of a black President to [etc]

I love my parents, but I sure won't miss it when the rest of the baby boomers are gone.

Deliver me from white guilt over shit I wasn't even around for.

Ann Althouse said...

"OK, Ann, two others here have made the point about quotas for whites in the NBA (jr565, Zeb Quin( but you deleted my: "I'll worry about all this when the NBA has quotas for 5'812" white guys."
HowcomeHowcomeHowcome???MY comment is objectionable but the others are not!?"

Did I delete it or did you post it in the other Oscars thread?

Drama queen.

el polacko said...

why not just take a lesson from our betters in education and give every american involved in making a movie this year an award ?...but then why snub the folks who contributed to the industry by attending a screening ? ...okay...on oscar sunday, every american gets an oscar. ...but then, there's a lot of folks from england in movies so...okay...everybody in america AND england gets an oscar...argh, but what about that german camera guy ?...ah the heck with it...everybody in the world gets an oscar on oscar sunday. problem solved! you're welcome.

David said...

Idiosyncratic white man?

This was my year and still no recognition.

Robert Howard said...

Ann,

If 90% of people eligible for an award are white, the probability that all 20 selected are white would be a little over 12% -or 1 year in eight.

This is the baseline to compare against. An actual outcome significantly different than 12% is evidence that there is something in the process that deferentially affects white vs. non-white selection. An outcome close to 12% indicates there is no greater or lesser probability for a white or non white actor to be selected.

The Oscar winners were all white in 1998, 2011, and 2015. Since 1998, there have been 2 of 17 years with all white winners. This almost exactly the centrepoint estimate for a process that is completely colorblind.

Math is hard.