Oscars 2018: Improved Black Representation But Where Are The Asians And Hispanics?
The voices of the #OscarsSoWhite movement, started in 2016, finally seem to be gaining significance among Hollywood’s elite with a bunch of nominations for coloured people in the 2018 edition of the awards show. But there’s still scope for improvement when it comes to representation of Asians and Hispanics, with hardly any of them making it into the major award categories.
Credit where it’s due though. In the times of the Black Panther and the increasing conversation about representation of black people, it was heartening to note surprise entrant Get Out in the Best Film category. (However, it was the only one with a black lead character among the seven nominees)
Jordan Peele, the African American director of the movie is also nominated for best director, best original screenplay, and best picture. In 2017, Get Out became the the highest grossing debut film based on an original screenplay, bringing in $255 million worldwide to date.
Also nominated for Get Out is Daniel Kaluuya for Best Actor. It’s his first bid, and he happens to be joined by the most nominated black actor in history, Denzel Washington who contends for his eighth acting prize and his ninth overall when you count his Best Picture nomination last year as a producer of Fences.
Octavia Spencer makes history as she becomes only the third black woman to earn three nominations and the first to earn two after winning. She’s up against Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), who is also a contender for Best Song for co-writing Mighty River for that film.
Dee Rees’s Mudbound, supported and distributed by Netflix, has become the first film to have an African American female nominated for best adapted screenplay — a first in this category. The film’s cinematographer Rachel Morrison is also the first woman to be nominated in the category.
Director Guillermo Del Toro leads the line for Hispanic people, he has also become the fifth Latin American in this category. The Big Sick‘s Kumail Najiani becomes the fifth Asian nominee in this category, as Asian representation remains far and few in between. Similar is the case with Native Americans, or even worse.
The voices for expansion in diversity have yielded significant results in just a couple of years. But there’s still a long way to go to rid the industry from white male dominance, which doesn’t look too distant if the progress remains on track and follows the same manner of the past couple of years. And as evidence has it, art is the ultimate winner.