Mark Rylance, Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alicia Vikander
Controversy over racial discrimination overshadowed the Oscars in Hollywood on Sunday [Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]
From: Inside Story

Are the Oscars too white?

As some black actors boycotted this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, we debate the level of inclusion in Hollywood.

It’s the world’s most prestigious movie awards ceremony.

But controversy over racial discrimination overshadowed the Oscars in Hollywood on Sunday night.

No ethnic minority actor or actress was nominated for an award for the second year running, sparking a social media campaign hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

Black comedian and actor Chris Rock, who was urged to boycott the ceremony, tackled the issue with a 10 minute opening monologue.

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.

But a lack of diversity in the entertainment industry is not just a problem for the Oscars – a new report warns of an “inclusion crisis” for ethnic minorities, women and others in film and television.

On Inside Story, we examine if the Oscars are in fact whiter than white. Is the controversy being exaggerated?

Presenter: Mike Hanna


David A. Love – Executive editor of internet magazine

Ann Hornaday – Washington Post film critic

Donnell Alexander – Award winning writer and creator of cultural content