• Guy Jeffries

#OscarsSoWhite


So, today I hear in the news that Idris Elba and John Boyega have been made judges for the academy awards. Congratulations! But, and please don't get me misunderstood, as I would hate it if these two awesome guys were chosen based on the very reasons they're standing up against.

I'm all for diversity, and totally agree, one day, hopefully the colour, creed, sexual orientation, age and faith won't matter, At All, and that we can see and understand beyond. However, for this news to be announced annoys me a little and I'm trying to understand why so hear me out.

What I want more than diversity, is what's fair and reasonable. And sometimes, maths plays a part in all that. What I don't want to see is people getting nominated or winning purely on keeping things 'equal' as that totally defeats the point of diversity. The person wasn't nominated or won solely on their talents but because they're black or Asian or whatever. Same goes for winning roles, surely a good actor/actress should be granted the role on their own merit and not for the diversity cause?

Totally agree that it should not be the reverse, not casting someone because of prejudice. But why make a point of including Idris Elba and John Boyega on the panel of judges? Among another 681 new members. A decision made by Academy Award President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, which is a massive increase compared to the average 170 additional members each year, and nearly half of these recent new members being of Hollywood's minorities, to what appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to the recent #OscarsSoWhite

I believe I lot of this is down to math and not diversity or 'minority' issue. Yes, let's see an increase, but for the right reasons and not because people are of one of these minorities. Surely to do this is to slap a massive label on people and as result attacking the very thing we all crave to want, equality.

I'll use female directors as an extreme example, because there is only one nomination for director unlike actor/actress get one each. According to Variety, only 7% of directors in Hollywood are female, so that could mean there's a chance for no female directors up for nomination in a single year, but, it's down to the math and there has been quite a few female nominations and wins. Rightly deserved I believe too and I find that reasonable. Yet, Hollywood is still very much a man's world but does that mean we 'must' have at least one female director nomination each year to appease an industry minority? It will only result in people getting nominations because of what they are instead of what they have done, which, going back to basics is reverse ageism, sexism and racism.

I don't agree with prejudices and Hollywood's whitewashing, but on the flip side I don't agree with people winning parts, getting nominated or put on panels for diversity stake. We all want to be treated equally, judged on own merits and not on our differences, but to do this for diversity sake is just as bad, if not worse and hypocritical. I don't think it's the answer and is more of a late apology to those upset. Yes, equal pay like Jennifer Lawrence has been recently kicking off about, equal recognition being both fair and reasonable. And I'm sure JLaw would prefer to be paid the reasonable fair and equal amount purely on her talents and not because she's a woman.

Surely, in the utopian future we will see beyond the prejudice and need not question the persons differences, not even think about it and choose to accept that that person is there by their own merit and talent rendering the statistics and math unimportant.

Am I the only one who is slightly confused by 46% of the new invitees are female and 41% are people of colour reported by Hollywoodreporter. Should it matter? Hopefully one day it won't even be apparent and this being the first step for diversity within the industry. I'm not sure, I think a part of me would be incredibly insulted to be invited on the grounds of my sex or colour or anything other than being good at what I do.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the recent decision? Is it fair and reasonable or purely down to percentages within the industry?


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