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#TimesUp, #Oscarsowhite: Looking Back At The Gains Of The Movements After Award Season

Date March 6, 2018 10:58

The 90th Academy Awards was held last night, on Sunday, March 4, 2018. And the race to the biggest movie award ceremony was not without its many controversies.

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READ ALSO: 90th Oscar Awards Nomination List: Top Wins, Obvious Snubs, And Some Funny Mispronunciations

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An Oscar nomination can transform an actor's career, but a win is game-changing. With stakes this high, speculations can get very tricky. But, historically, the biggest winners have been Caucasians.

In 2015, the former lawyer, writer, and activist, April Reign, began a movement that questioned the lack of diversity in the Academy. Her activism highlighted the fact that a majority of the people who decide what films get any meaningful attention were white, male, and old.

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Simply put, they were out of touch with the realities of most people in America, especially racial and sexual minorities.

It is argued that her activism has yielded much success, but emboldened by its gains, other movements have gotten more visibility in the last year.

More movements?

The most notable of them have been the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. The movements came to light following allegations against big-time Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein.

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Both of them have worked hard underground to give women who have been victims of sexual harassment, assault, and rape a platform to share their stories.

READ ALSO: Oscars And Gender Prejudice: Barbra Streisand Talks On Her Long Battle With Hollywood’s Boys’ Club

It also helped greatly that big names in Hollywood including Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Oprah Winfrey, and Reese Witherspoon have thrown their weights around the movement.

This award season has seen celebrities show up on the red carpet in black in allegiance to the movements highlighting sexual violence against women and minorities. But, perhaps, it is too soon to move on from #oscarsowhite when the battles have not been won?

Voters are still predominantly white and male.

The nominations this year favored movies like The Shape of Water, Get Out, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriCall Me by Your Name and The Big Sick.

In a remarkable turn of events, also, Denzel Washington replaced James Franco on the nominations list. Franco was accused of inappropriate behavior by a number of women.

As great as these gains are, they need to be consolidated. Two years of active discussion around the issues may seem like a lot, but there is still a lot of big changes that need to be made. The New Yorker has this to say about where the current numbers stand:

Voters are still predominantly white and male; twenty-eight per cent are female, and only thirteen per cent are non-white.

#OscarsSoWhite... Again. I Would Like To Thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors Of The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences For Awarding Me an Honorary Oscar This Past November. I Am Most Appreciative. However My Wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee And I Will Not Be Attending The Oscar Ceremony This Coming February. We Cannot Support It And Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy. But, How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White? And Let's Not Even Get Into The Other Branches. 40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can't Act?! WTF!! It's No Coincidence I'm Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday. Dr. King Said "There Comes A Time When One Must Take A Position That Is Neither Safe, Nor Politic, Nor Popular But He Must Take It Because Conscience Tells Him It's Right". For Too Many Years When The Oscars Nominations Are Revealed, My Office Phone Rings Off The Hook With The Media Asking Me My Opinion About The Lack Of African-Americans And This Year Was No Different. For Once, (Maybe) I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot. If Someone Has Addressed This And I Missed It Then I Stand Mistaken. As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The "Real" Battle Is. It's In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks. This Is Where The Gate Keepers Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To "Turnaround" Or Scrap Heap. This Is What's Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With "The Green Light" Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, "I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS". People, The Truth Is We Ain't In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. (Cont'd)

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As the Oscars conclude the award season of 2018, one key thing to set our sights on is the legal defense fund that was born out of the #TimesUp movement. It has now reached $21 million from 20,000 donors.

In addition, a partnership with the platform, StoryCorps, will create space for the stories of women survivors, including Jane Fonda and Shonda Rhimes, to be shared.

READ ALSO: 2018 Oscar Predictions: 5 Women Who Have All The Chances To Get Academy Award Nomination For Best Actress

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