When the nominations for the Academy Awards were announced last week, all of the acting awards had one thing in common. It was a monochrome list of white people. This has frustrated a number of people who are taking the Academy to task for a lack of diversity. There were a number of African-American actors and filmmakers whose contributions were ignored. At the top of that list is the team that put together Straight Outta Compton and while producer Will Packer is obviously not happy that his film was so overlooked, he’s mainly concerned with the way the Academy looks overall, because the lack of diversity simply doesn’t make the Academy look legitimate.
Will Packer, an executive producer on Straight Outta Compton, took to his Facebook page to discuss the all-white slate of acting nominees and to call out a number of black filmmakers who he says were "at the top of their game" this year, including: Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler of Creed and Idris Elba of Beasts of No Nation among several others. According to Packer, the primary reason that the Academy's lack of diversity is so bad is because it makes the organization look completely out of touch.
It’s not only the Oscars that Packer takes to task however. He also calls out the filmmakers and the studios that need to create more diverse content so that there is more potential for diverse nominees in the future. Will Packer points out that the system that lead to the 2016 Oscar nominees was set in motion years ago when all these various projects were first begun. In order for things to change, they have to change at the beginning of the process.
The very white list of Oscar nominees led to the return of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite on social media and has caused some black filmmakers like Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee, who received an honorary Oscar from the Academy in November, to announce they will boycott the awards show.
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