No Country for Black Men: Why the Oscars are Still So White and Why We Should Care

Friday, February 26, 2016

Joel Coen & Ethan Coen & Scott Rudin at the Academy Awards in 2008 Joel Coen & Ethan Coen & Scott Rudin at the Academy Awards in 2008 (Shutterstock/Paul Smith/Featureflash)

For the second year in a row, not one person of color was nominated in any of the four major Academy Awards categories. In fact, nominees in all the other categories were overwhelmingly white and male. 

How did we get here and why do we care? Should diversity at an awards show matter and, if so, how do we develop and foster inclusivity in the entertainment industry? 

Join the conversation on Twitter using #OscarsSoWhite

In the run-up to Oscar weekend, join WNYC’s Jami Floyd for a conversation about #OscarsSoWhite. We talk about how far we have come -- and how far we have yet to go to make sure all of our stories get told; and we toast some of the best artists and work overlooked this awards season.

Panelists:

Mia Mask is a professor of film at Vassar College. She teaches African-American cinema, documentary film history and seminars on special topics, including auteurs such as Spike Lee. She is also the author of “Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film.”

Adam Moore is the national director of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity at SAG-AFTRA. He is responsible for developing and implementing a national diversity plan of action to include groups that are often excluded from entertainment and news media, such as performers with disabilities and the LGBT population, to name a few.

April Reign is the creator of #OscarsSoWhite and managing editor of BroadwayBlack.com and NU Tribe Magazine. The National Journal recently named her Twitter handle one of the top 15 accounts on #BlackTwitter.

José Rivera is a two-time Obie Award winner (Marisol and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot). His screenplay, "The Motorcycle Diaries" was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award in 2005. Current television projects include an untitled HBO pilot, co-written with actor Tom Hanks, as well as a 10-hour series for HBO tentatively known as “Latino Roots.”  

 

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