The Oscar nominations were announced this morning and the biggest omissions the Academy made were glaringly obvious. Yet again, no actors of color were nominated in any of the acting categories. That means the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag is unfortunately all too applicable again.
The worthy performances, obviously, were out there. Idris Elba was nominated by both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild for his work in Beast of No Nation. Will Smith scored a Golden Globes nod for Concussion. Michael B. Jordan was perfect as the title character in Creed. His co-star Sylvester Stallone, was nominated, but he wasn't. Tangerine stars Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez were the subjects of the first Oscar campaign for transgender actresses.
Furthermore, none of the best picture nominees feature people of color in leading roles. The Martian has a diverse supporting cast, but the movie revolves around Matt Damon's abandoned astronaut character. Though Leonardo DiCaprio said he wanted to "share" his Golden Globe with "all the first nations people represented in this film," The Revenant puts indigenous people on the sidelines of the story of DiCaprio's white fur trapper. (Slate called the remark "awkward and cynical.") Meanwhile, the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, which many prognosticators thought would be up for best picture, was only nominated for best original screenplay. (The writers of the film up for the prize are white.) It's unlikely that the Academy's failure will go unremarked upon at the ceremony, however. Chris Rock is hosting, after all.