The following is an article showcasing the voices of Twitter users in regards to the increase in Black movies nominated for this year’s Oscars. Enjoy!
The Oscars doesn’t seem “so White” after all.
Leading up to the 2016 Academy Awards, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite
was a big trend on Twitter. People, especially in the Black community, voiced their concerns about notable Black actors, actresses and movies going unnoticed by the Academy. Movies such as “Selma” received recognition from the NAACP, Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the Producers Guild of America (PGA), but still wasn’t Oscar material. This caused the online community as well as fellow Hollywood stars to boycott the ceremony last year.
Fast foreword one year, Black films are dominating the Academy Awards nominations. The Black motion pictures nominated this year include 13th, Fences, Hidden Figures, I Am Not Your Negro, Moonlight and Oj: Made in America. A number of actors and actresses are nominated for their individual roles such as Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, Ocativa Spencer and Denzel Washington.
The question still stands, is the recent influx of recognition for Black films a way to prevent more backlash? Or did the Academy select these movies because they deserved to be nominated?
“The performances this year were outstanding you could not ignore them,” said Dr. Tia Smith, Mass Communication department head at Xavier University of Louisiana. “Maybe a Black film will take Best Picture. I don’t think it’s because we didn’t have Black films that didn’t hit it off before, I just think that sometimes when you have something special everybody takes notice.”
Social media has a major impact on bringing awareness to social issues we have today. Although the Black movies nominated are getting the recognition they deserve, many Millennials think that Twitter played a major part of their decision.
“Black films should be recognized and I think it’s dumb that it took Black twitter to complain about it for them to realize it,” said Ashanta Fulmmore, a senior Sociology major at Xavier University of Louisiana. “I think they are only doing it because we called them out and they don’t want any backlash. We star in great films and we produce great films, so give us the acknowledgement we deserve!”
Seeing Black films break the barrier in Hollywood not only uplifts the Black community, but inspires the future generation of Black actors and filmmakers as well.
“I will say, this change in the film industry has made me take a more creative approach to becoming a filmmaker, said Leonard Lewis, a junior Mass Communication student at Xavier University of Louisiana. “I think black films were much more important and meaningful this year especially with Hidden Figures and Fences.”
The Academy Awards will air February 26, 2017 at 4:00 PM PST.