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Written by Aly Tantaway
This year’s Academy Awards show has been the subject of debate and discord. It has been dubbed the “All-White Oscars” because there were no African-American nominees for the Best Actor Award. However, the fact that there were no black nominees does not mean the Oscars are racist.
The Oscar for Best Actor should go to whomever the Best Actor of that year was, regardless of race. Perhaps it was merely a coincidence that there were no black Best Actor nominees because there were no good movies with black leading actors.
A black person won the Best Actor award in 2007, 2005, and 2002, so it is inaccurate to say that African-Americans have not been recognized.
Furthermore, the first Academy Awards took place in 1929, which means this year marked the 88th Academy Awards. It is logical to suggest that this is not the first time this has happened, so why has this recently become such a controversy?
The answer is simple: there were things that were actually important to protest about, such as segregation. The issue of diversity at glamorous awards shows is not nearly so important and shouldn’t be treated as such.
The NFL is comprised of 67.3% African-Americans. The NBA is comprised of 74.4% African-Americans. Nobody complains about these organizations lacking in diversity.
Both the NBA and the NFL are made up of only around 1% Asian-Americans. Why are we not protesting either of these organizations for their lack of Asian-Americans? As a Muslim-American, I take no offense to the fact that there was not a Muslim nominee. Talent and race are separate and should be treated as such.
Complete diversity is impossible to achieve. While diversity is desirable, we cannot belittle the achievements of others simply because of the color of their skin. The Best Actor nominees were nominated not because of their race, but because of their talent. Not everything has to be about race.
People are always looking for ways to “play the race card,” and this year’s unfortunate target just happened to be the Oscars. The more we try to “play the race card,” the less of a chance we have of eliminating the perceived problem of racism.