The Oscars and Diversity

It is the time of the year that the Academy Awards are now being hosted. And the 92nd Academy Awards is rather surprising when it comes to the nominations. Joker is the first comic book movie to receive 11 nominations. And in a nice surprise, the Korean film Parasite nominations outside of Best Foreign Feature in the forms of Best Picture and Best Director for Bong Joon Ho. However, many people are unsatisfied with these nominations. 

Many people this year are frustrated with the nominations that the Academy ignored and brushed women’s contributions for film this year. Greta Gerwig, who directed the exceptional adaptation of Little Women, did not receive a Best Director nomination. This is the in spite of the fact that it received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress (for Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (for Florence Pugh), and Best Adapted Screenplay. Many people also cited that The Farewell not getting nominated, as it is a movie that is directed by and stars Chinese Americans (specifically director Lulu Wang and star Awkwafina). Another film that felt snubbed was Hustlers, a film about strippers conning Wall Street. Certain groups feel like these movies should have gotten nominations. 

However, others have argued that the quality of the works nominated should matter more than the diversity of those nominated. They argue that the quality of the films released in 2019 has been more than exceptional, and that supersedes any diversity in the nominations that have been made. However, both sides of these arguments have valid points. 

I personally believe that both sides of this argument have their good points. I do believe that there are many great performances by both women and people of color that should have gotten some award recognition. However, I also agree that the overall quality of the nominated film’s work should matter more than any notion of diversity. And giving into the demands more diversity always runs the chance of coming across as insincere. And in some respects, choosing some of these choices that people say should be nominated makes it feel like they are being tokenized. 

Sources:

The 2020 Oscar Nominations Confirm Awards Don’t Matter

The Oscars Had a Chance to Be More Diverse Than Ever In 2020 and Blew ItOpinion Piece – The Oscars, Diversity, and the Cold Hard Truth

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