Oscars Asians

Lost amidst all the stories about how Chris Rock ripped into the Academy last night is how poorly people of other races were treated who weren’t black or white. I think it was about two hours into last night’s broadcast when the first mention of Asians or Hispanics even happened: during a remote video segment from a man-on-the-street interview Rock conducted in front of a theater.

“This should not just white. It should be Asian, Hispanic. There’s so much talent out there of all races,” the man says, while holding an Oscar statue and delivering a mock acceptance speech.

I wish the rest of the presenters and producers had taken this message to heart.
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gods of egypt director

Gods of Egypt opened this past weekend to turgid reviews and worse box office, making only $14 million against a reported budget of $140 million (before marketing costs, of course). The film is a Jupiter Ascending-sized flop, and like that film, it’s actually easy to see why it failed to perform: it’s really, really weird. Whether that weirdness works or not is the question, and that answer can only arrive with time. But right now, regular film fans and critics alike have rejected the film.

And now, director Alex Proyas has let his displeasure be known to the masses, unleashing a brutal tirade against film critics. It’s the kind of thing that’s going to promote knee-jerk reactions of all kinds, but the issue at hand here is a bit more nuanced than that.

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Gods of Egypt Super Bowl Spot

The 88th Oscars don’t take place for another several days, but we can already say with absolute certainty that all four winners in the acting categories will be white — because for the second year in a row, only white actors were nominated. #OscarsSoWhite has been the defining controversy of this year’s awards season, sparking uncomfortable and long overdue conversations about who wins these awards, and why, and what should be done about it.

But #OscarsSoWhite is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Hollywood’s race problem. There’s also the fact that roles for people of color are all too rare to begin with. And then even when they do exist, they often wind up getting filled by white actors. In last night’s episode of Last Week TonightJohn Oliver and his team took on Hollywood whitewashing, asking, “How is this still a thing?” Watch the John Oliver Hollywood whitewashing segment after the jump.  Read More »

Oscars logo

The response to this year’s all-white Oscar nominations was loud and angry and it didn’t die down quickly. Soon, Honorary Oscar recipient Spike Lee was boycotting the ceremony. Will Smith also announced that he would not be attending while current nominee Mark Ruffalo made his displeasure known. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement about the situation (which was dubbed #OscarsSoWhite online) and movie fans and industry insiders alike wondered if anything would actually change.

And now they have. In a new letter sent to Academy members, new policy has been implemented that will change the makeup of the Oscar voting body, with a goal of doubling “diverse” members by 2020. You can read the new Oscar rules below.

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will smith oscars boycott

If you read about movies on the internet, you’re surely familiar with the recent controversy surrounding this year’s Academy Awards nominations. But here’s the short version: for the second year in a row, every single acting nominee and four of the five directing nominees were white. This lack of representation, a symptom of an industry that is still dominated by white men, was the finally straw for many actors, filmmakers, writers, and movie fans. With the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag as their rallying cry, this group of concerned citizens set out to raise awareness and question why the biggest awards show on the planet was snubbing people of color.

And now, two new major names have joined the cause. Will Smith says he’ll be skipping the ceremony altogether and Mark Ruffalo, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Spotlight, may follow suit.

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oscars race controversy

The 2016 Academy Awards nominations instantly left a sour taste in the mouth. Although many great movies and talented artists received Oscar nods this year, there was one snub that was quickly recognized: anyone who wasn’t white. For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominees were white and only one of the directing nominations went to a person of color. The firestorm that followed, organized under the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, led to passionate responses from casual movie fans and film industry veterans alike. Everyone had an opinion on this matter and rightfully so – this isn’t just an Oscar problem, but a Hollywood problem.

And now, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has issued an official statement on the matter.

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Spike Lee Oscars boycott

Out of all the films and artists that were snubbed for Academy Awards nominations last week, one area of oversight stood out for being particularly egregious: the lack of nods for people of color. Of all the major nominees, only one person, The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu, was not white. And for the second year in a row, the 20 acting nominees didn’t include a single person of color.

Naturally, the internet got outraged and rightfully so – it’s not like this year was lacking in tremendous work from performers of all ethnic backgrounds. The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag became a thing again and think pieces from both sides of this controversy began to spring up across the internet. And now, prepare for things to get even more heated: director Spike Lee, who was just awarded an honorary Oscar in November, is boycotting this year’s ceremony.

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rob zombie 31

We can say a lot of things, both good and bad, about Rob Zombie as a director, but at least he has a voice. While many filmmakers are happy to color within the lines and deliver something approachable and easy to sell, Zombie’s particular brand of foul, brutal, throwback horror is always interesting, even when the movie is a total stinker. I’d sooner watch the feverish, fascinating, and totally awful The Lords of Salem again before I revisit many horror movies. For better and worse, his movies stand out. They’re so filthy that you can practically smell them.

And since a major component of Zombie’s aesthetic involves finding unique and special ways to portray human pain and suffering, it shouldn’t be surprising that his latest movie, 31, has been slapped with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA. And while this is a weird badge of honor for any horror filmmaker, it’s not one that you want to wear all the time – as Zombie himself is quick to point out, this rating can spell certain doom for any movie.

Hit the jump for more on the latest Rob Zombie 31 news.

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NYPD Quentin Tarantino Boycott

Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight) has been accused of glamorizing violence all throughout his career. Time and time again his depiction of violence is misread, almost with every one of his films. Apparently, in this respect, even the NYPD has a problem with the director’s work.

Read more after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

aziz ansari transformers

Aziz Ansari has a new comedy series coming to Netflix and it looks like a great, hilarious look at life in the year 2015. And, perhaps more importantly, Master of None is giving the always funny Parks and Recreation veteran a new platform from which he can brutally honest about the topics that he’s obviously passionate about. Like the state of race and Hollywood and that time he turned down a role in Transformers because of some general racial ickiness associated with the part.

You can read the Aziz Ansari Transformers story (as well as some of his other insightful, sad comments) after the jump.

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