Calls for more Oscar nominations diversity will not change the natural trajectory of white supremacy within Hollywood.
Academy Awards host Chris Rock pulled no punches in taking aim at the #OscarsSoWhite controversy dominating Hollywood.
Best picture: Spotlight
Actor in a leading role: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Actress in a leading role: Brie Larson – Room
Actor in a supporting role: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Actress in a supporting role: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
Animated feature film: Inside Out
Cinematography: The Revenant
Costume design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Directing: The Revenant
Documentary feature: Amy
Documentary short: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Film editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Foreign language film: Son of Saul
Make-up and hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
Music – original score: The Hateful Eight
Music – original song: Writing’s on the wall – Spectre
Production design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Short film – animated: Bear Story
Short film – live action: Stutterer
Sound editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Sound mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Visual effects: Ex Machina
Writing – adapted screenplay: The Big Short
Writing – original screenplay: Spotlight
Rock – the outspoken black comedian chosen to host the Oscars months before the selection was announced of an all-white acting nominee line-up for the second year running – welcomed viewers to what he called “the white People’s Choice awards” on Sunday night.
Speculating on why the furore over diversity in the industry had taken root this year, rather than in the 1950s or 1960s, Rock said black Americans had “real things to protest at the time”.
“We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematography,” he said. “When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”
Turning to the present day, Rock joked that things would be different at Sunday’s Academy Awards, saying the traditional segment honouring stars who died is “just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies”.
A few blocks away from the glamour of Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, about 40 people gathered to make the case for more diversity in a rally organised by civil rights leader Al Sharpton.
Sharpton called for Americans to “tune out” the live telecast, the most watched non-sports TV event of the year.
Director Spike Lee, who shunned the Academy Awards ceremony along with actor Will Smith, instead attended a New York Knicks basketball game on Sunday.
However, a wider Oscar boycott largely failed to gather steam as black celebrities – including Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, Pharrell Williams and John Legend – all showed up.
“I really want to be part of the conversation so we have institutional change, so we never have a year like this again,” Washington told ABC television on the red carpet.
The under-representation of people of colour in the film and TV industry prompted pledges to bring more women and minorities into the industry and the Academy.
In one pre-taped parody, Rock ventured in a tuxedo to a cinema in the predominantly black Los Angeles suburb of Compton to ask several African-American moviegoers there whether they had seen any of the films nominated this year for best picture. None had.
But all said they had seen, and enjoyed, the critically acclaimed hip-hop drama Straight Outta Compton, which failed to earn a place in the best picture contest.
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