Let the Box Office show your disgust with Hollywood’s casting

The Editorial Voice of The Miter

The Editorial Voice of The Miter

Editorial Board

For a second consecutive year, not one person of color was appointed for an Academy honor in any of the top four acting categories. The sole signs of diversity within the writing and directional classes were the nominations for Mexican film producer Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant and Filipino scriptwriter Ronnie del Carmen, one among many writers appointed for Inside Out.

Last year, we reluctantly accepted the reality that this lack of diversity was lamentable. This year, it’s even more appalling, considering what percentage of well-respected films that include non-white actors were eligible.

The lack of recognition for artists of color mirrors the shortage of diversity in each the Academy membership and also the film business in general. Though the Academy, currently overseen by its first black president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, has began to broaden its choice membership, it will take a while before it’s not overwhelmingly white and male.

The bigger and more difficult downside to diversifying Hollywood is that the executives and professionals who finance movies and distribute them are principally white, and are hesitant to risk a countless amount of profit on unknown talent. This hesitation comes despite the sturdy performance of colored actors in films such as Straight Outta Compton and Creed, each of which had black administrators and actors in prominent roles. Nevertheless, studios’ TV divisions are grading hits with an increasingly diverse lineup of talent, and winning approval for it as well; witness last year’s honor nominations, including multiple nods for actors and actresses of color.

The overwhelming whiteness might eventually be overcome by a brand-new generation of aspiring filmmakers, writers, and actors who will use digital technology and also the internet to make movies and attract an audience.

The movie-going public is already telling the industry that it’s prepared for a modification. Hollywood should take a cue from the innovators and creative minds of “Straight Outta Compton” who produced the movie for $28 million and, so far, have grossed over $200 million.