The year 2016 reveals there are no people of color worthy of the Oscar, the Academy Award honoring achievements in cinema since 1929. No African Americans, Asians or Latinos will receive an award this year. This year several of those in the film industry are boycotting the Awards ceremony. Those announcing their intentions to boycott are Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and Director Michael Moore.
This year and last year is not the first time that the Academy Awards have been boycotted. Dudley Nichols, Best Writing winner for The Informer, was the first to boycott the Oscars in 1935 over a conflict with the Writer’s Guild. George C. Scott winner of Best Actor in 1970 for Patton, boycotted in 1970. Also, Marlon Brando winner of Best Actor for The Godfather, boycotted the Oscars in 1972.
There may be bias in those that choose the winners. As of 2012 those that decide who will receive the Academy Award consists of 5,783 voting members. They include 94% Caucasian, 77% male, 54% over the age of 60, less than 2% African American and Latino.
Only 12 African Americans have won an Academy Award since its inception including: Hattie McDaniel, Sidney Poitier, Louis Gosset, Jr., Denzel Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Halle Berry, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whittaker, Jennifer Hudson and Mo’Nique.
Asians who have won Academy Awards are: Yul Brenner, Ben Kingsley, Haing S. Ngor, Miyoshi Umeki, Ang Lee, James Wong Howe, Peter Pau, Richard Chew, Tom Cross, Timmy Yip, Sanza Wada, Bhanu Athaiyu, Emi Wada, Eiko Ishioka, Ryuichi Sakomoto, Cong Su, A. R. Rahman, Tan Dun, Gulzar, Robert Lopez, Resul Pookuty, Doug Chiang, Hayao Miyazaki, Akaira Kuroawa, Teinosuke Kinugasa, Hiroshi Inagaki, DersuUzala, Akira Urasawa, Yojiri Takita, Asghar Farhadi, Freida Lee Mock, Audrey Marrs, Steven Okazaki, Jessica Yu, Keiko Ibi, Ruby Yang, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Kunio Kato, Shaun Tan and Chris Tashima.
Latinos who have won Academy Awards include: Jose Ferrer’, Anothy Quinn, Benicio Del Toro, Rita Moreno, Lupito Nyong’o, Emilie Kuri, Eugenio Zanetti, Brigette Broch, Eugenio Caballero, Guillermo Navarro, Claudio Miranda, Emmanuel Lubezki, Alfonzo Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarratu, Robert Amram, Luis Penzo, Juan Jose Campanella Andre Gutffreund, Luis Puinzo, Armando Bo, Nicolas Giocabone and Beatrice De’Alba.
The question remains, is racism rearing its’ ugly head in the arts or are there just no actors, writers, directors, editor, cinematographer, make-up artist, music, sound, mixing, or visual effects individuals of color worthy of the Academy Award this year?