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Nadra Kareem Nittle

Minorities at The Oscars: Ang Lee Wins Best Director!

By February 24, 2013

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"Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington should be hosting."

That's what New York Times critic Jon Caramanica wrote while live blogging Sunday about the 85th Academy Awards. While the pair--who play husband and wife in Oscar-nominated film "Django Unchained"--would certainly make a delectable duo as hosts of the Academy Awards, they were simply presenters at the ceremony. Seth McFarlane hosted and, as usual, very few of the nominees were minorities.

Veteran director Ang Lee, however, nabbed the best director Oscar for his work in "Life of Pi." He's won once before--for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005.  Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis was nominated for best actress for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," a film about a girl and her father in a Louisiana swamp threatened by rising floodwaters. While adorable Quvenzhané won scores of attention with her star-making turn in "Beasts," she predictably lost the award to Jennifer Lawrence of  "Silver Linings Playbook." Denzel Washington lost out on an Oscar for his lead role in "Flight" to Daniel Day-Lewis of "Lincoln." Since Washington already has a couple of Oscars under his belt, this was likely no big loss for him. Lastly, "Django Unchained" was nominated for best picture, but "Argo" won. Had "Django," Reginald Hudlin would have received an Oscar, as he co-produced the controversial Western.

The fact that year after year few minorities land work substantial enough for Oscar consideration wasn't lost on comic George Lopez. During an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Friday, Lopez jokingly called Ben Affleck, "our finest Latino actor right now." This was a sly way to point out that Affleck, who is white, played a Latino named Tony Mendez in "Argo." Certainly, Lopez wondered why a Latino actor could not have played Mendez instead.

Seemingly to compensate for the dearth of Oscar nominees of color, the Academy showcased a diverse lineup of presenters. In addition to Washington and Foxx, Halle Berry, an Oscar winner and Bond girl, gave a tribute to 50 years of Bond films. Zoe Saldana, Queen Latifah and Salma Hayek also presented, but Mc Farlane insulted Hayek, not to mention Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and native Spanish speakers generally, by quipping that no one can understand them when they present awards. Aside from that, Jennifer Hudson, Shirley Bassey and Norah Jones performed musical numbers. First Lady Michelle Obama helped to introduce the best picture via satellite. Octavia Spencer, who won last year for her supporting role in "The Help," presented the best actor award to Christoph Waltz for "Django."

Spencer appeared Thursday on ABC chat show "The View" and spoke of her dreams for her future in Hollywood. I think her hopes sum up what every marginalized person in the business wishes would happen. "I want to put men, women, of all ages, of all shapes and body types, of all races, of all sexual orientations to work," she said. "I want to see it."



February 25, 2013 at 12:32 am
(1) Craig Vance says:

It seems that the number of nominations remains the same like a quota that must be meet. The rare occasion a minority win we hear how far Hollywood has come but if you notice how few parts and what type of parts are given out it seems like no progress has been made

February 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm
(2) blake says:

The reason there are not more people of color represented in the ‘winners’ circle is because of a lack of brainpower. Wherever there is a need for intellectual excellence, Blacks and Hispanics come up short. If there were an honest comparison of what Whites, Blacks and Hispanics have contributed to the advancement of the human race, Blacks and Hispanics would be embarrassed. Put on one side what Whites have invented and on the other side what Blacks and Hispanics have invented. Within about one-minute B’s and H’s would be making excuses. ‘It is because Whites have had advantages’ Slavery, etc. Humans started in Africa, but then evolution left Blacks behind. The average lifespan for a male in Africa is 44. The only real progress Blacks have made is when they are in close proximity to Whites. Left on their own, Blacks regress to a low level. Look at Zimbabwe, when it was run by Whites and called Rhodesia, it had a very high standard of living. It exported a lot of agriculture. Today, under Robert Mugabe, they have to beg for food. They have extreme inflation and everyone; Black and White are suffering. Show some proper humility and gratitude. If you were left to your own resources, you would regress into a primitive state.

February 26, 2013 at 1:54 am
(3) Dr. Tania Grant says:

I’m black American and do very well for myself and family. I don’t need to be in close proximity of whites to make it in this world. Get your thoughts in order Blake!

February 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm
(4) blake says:

I respect that Dr. Grant. Obviously, you cannot include everyone in any broad statement. My comment was in response to the nonsense from Ms. Nittle. She complains that minorities did not have the amount of representation they deserved. What does she propose, Affirmative Action for the Oscars? I won’t list all the differences in accomplishments; you only need to be intellectually honest enough to admit what your own eyes and brain tell you. There are many exceptional people in every race, but the empirical evidence tells you that Whites have produced the majority of what has advanced the human species.

February 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm
(5) Robert says:


Your comments are inappropriate and inaccurate and literally stunning in their ignorance. There was nothing in article to warrent it and Nadra has endless proven herself to be a thoughtful, decent and open minded individual… you ranting is HATE… unwarranted and shocking…

There are real issues of racism in Hollywood. I live and work in LA and I know people in the BIZ… it is pretty much a white club and everyone in LA knows this… Yes there has been some development (mainly because of economic pressure) but not a lot and less behind the camera than infront… and Yes, I disagree with some of the things in the article and see it as being a little whinning… but to disagree and to rant like an a-hole are not the same.

What was important was… and what I took away from the article (until I saw your comment) was what Octavia Spencer said “I want to put men, women, of all ages, of all shapes and body types, of all races, of all sexual orientations to work,” she said. “I want to see it.” This was beautiful and achievable.

And you Blake acted shamefully and hatefully for no reason. Personally, I think you need to give Nadra an apology.


(the white, gay guy in LA)

February 28, 2013 at 9:55 am
(6) robert says:

lastly… I think people forget that hollywood is ruled by two things… 1. nepotism and 2. money.

Throughout the industry, people give jobs to their family and friends. It happens on ever level and for many reasons.

Second, Hollywood is about making as much money as possible… as the purchasing powers of minority groups rise, the number of minorities groups in the hollywood system also rise. But there is a myth that movies have to appeal to the wide demographic possible… hence white people… because they are the still the large demographic group.

the idea that Hollywood as a system is liberal, open or arts based is a myth. It is all about the $$$$ and it always has been.

March 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm
(7) Blake says:

The truth hurts. You can’t deny the substance of what I say, so you attempt to ease the sting by making charges of racism and ranting. Let us make a list of accomplishments. Take as long as you need to come up with something. In much less time, I will make a list that embarrasses you by comparison. My bet is that you will have nothing but more insult. Not enough intellectual honesty to tell it as your eyes and brain reveal it.
The only small consolation for me, is that you liberals will have to live in the society you are creating..

March 5, 2013 at 9:27 am
(8) Mke says:

To discuss the accomplishments of minorities is to report only what has been written in the history books by those in power. There are many instances of developments that were created by minorities that are not mentioned in the history books. These were purposely left out to keep majority supremacy intact. I prompt all intelligent people to look into the history of those that they look down on to see the accomplishments that have taken place. African history is littered with advancements to mankind that occurred before the European rise to power. This is more a case of power first, then discrimination. I am amazed at what I have learned about various people that have advanced human civilization to where it is today. The fairly recent domination of the European cultures was built upon the foundation of what happened in Africa, South America, and Asia centuries ago. So Mr. Blake, you are wrong through your ignorance of world history, not just recent Eoropean based history.

April 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm
(9) Terry says:

Do you come from 18th or 19th Century?

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