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How Black Twitter Ignited An Oscar Viewing Boycott

This photo released by Paramount Pictures shows, from left, foreground: Colman Domingo as Ralph Abernathy, David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., André Holland as Andrew Young, and Stephan James as John Lewis in a scene from the film, "Selma," from Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Atsushi Nishijima)
This photo released by Paramount Pictures shows a scene from the film, “Selma,” from Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Atsushi Nishijima)

Rebecca Theodore-Vachon, FORBES

 
(Forbes)—“The Oscars aren’t designed for us.”

In 2011, Idris Elba was a featured speaker at Rutgers University during a series of Black History month panels and the popular British actor spoke out in response to the lack of Black nominees for that year’s Oscars. Elba’s words ring even truer four years later after the Academy trotted out yet another lily-white list of actors and all male directors. It’s a stark comparison to last year, when “12 Years A Slave” swept the Oscars.

For April Reign, a lawyer, blogger and social media professional, the utter lack of nominees of color spurred her to create the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.   “There were many performances both in front of and behind the camera by people from marginalized communities that I believe should have been recognized,” Reign explains. The near shutout of “Selma” star David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay in the acting and directing categories was not surprising, but frustrating to Reign. “The point of the  hashtag  I created is not that the other nominees are not deserving.  They all turned in excellent performances and that should be recognized.  But Ava and David also should be recognized for their outstanding contributions, among others.”

 

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