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If you were paying attention to the entertainment industry at all yesterday, you probably noticed that the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced. In the wake of these revelations, there was the annual landslide of analysis, celebration, and criticism as people discussed everything under the sun, including snubs, surprises, and a film’s relative chances to walk away with Oscar. One of the biggest complaints levied against the Academy Awards over the years is the lack of diversity in their nominations. As with almost every year, this has raised one of the biggest outcries, but this time around the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, got in on the action.
Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, took to Twitter to call out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on the fact that, in the four main acting categories—Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress—there is not a single person of color to be found among the 20 performers.
This is the second consecutive year that all of the actors up for an Oscar are white, despite a number of performances that many expected to get nods. Will Smith’s turn in Concussion is easily the highlight of the movie, and many anticipated Creed star Michael B. Jordan to be among the nominees when they came down. Samuel L. Jackson and Idris Elba were also snubbed for their roles in The Hateful Eight and Beasts of No Nation, respectively. There’s also the exclusion of trans actors of color Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor who both gave incredible performances in the indie hit Tangerine.
Chirlane McCray, Bill de Blasio’s wife, got the ball rolling when she tweeted an image of all five best actress nominees next to one another:
Which she followed with:
There’s even an additional wrinkle to the controversy this year. Straight Outta Compton and Creed, two films fronted by black actors and helmed by black directors that many expected to be big players, only earned nominations for the white writers (Compton) and a white supporting actor (Sylvester Stallone reprising Rocky Balboa in Creed).