An excerpt from The Weekly Beat by ScreenBeats™ Hooray for Hollywood? which will be available 1/16/15:
Sabes que? It’s that time of year again. No, not the breaking of your new year’s resolution with continued “inherent vice” but with that new years’ celebration of self-congratulatory back-patting and applause ritualized through the exchange of that handsome gold statue, so desired throughout the land: Oscar…Oscar! The Academy Award nominations were announced this week. It looks like a great season for achievement, unless of course you’re an artist of color.
Here’s the list of top films:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
The civil-rights drama Selma, about Martin Luther King’s 1965 voting-rights marches in Alabama, is almost segregated on the list with only nominations for Best Picture and Best Song. The film’s female African-American director, Ava DuVernay and its protagonist actor, David Oyelowo, whose stunning performance as Martin Luther King Jr., was disenfranchised from this awards nod. The former made history this past month with a first-time black female director nom for a Golden Globe but lost out to Richard Linklater for Boyhood.
It get’s worse in the acting category: All of the twenty nominees for best acting are white. This is part and parcel of what is continually a fracturing state for Hollywood empire control most often defended by the decaying establishment of rich white CEOs. Media contributes to a society’s awareness of how individuals see themselves and each other. What’s being projected in theatres and on screens is nothing short of a “whitewashing.”
Taking a look at the top bosses running these conglomerate entertainment empires it’s clear to see that there is a disconnect between those that control the media and their culturally diverse audience:
Starting with the grand daddy of them all, Sumner Redstone, 64th Richest Person in the World is CEO to the world’s biggest media giant Viacom. This parent company owns Viacom cable, CBS, MTV, and various channels even such as Black Entertainment TV. He is part of an old boys club that has these other members as his peers:
Fox News: Rupert Murdoch (Owner), Peter Chernin (President)
Paramount Pictures: Brad Grey (Chairman)
Walt Disney: Robert Igor (CEO)
Sony Pictures: Michael Lynton (Chairman)
Warner Brothers: Barry Meyer (Chairman)
CBS: Leslie Moonves (CEO)
MGM: Harry Sloan (Chairman)
NBC/Universal Studios: Jeff Zucker (CEO), NBC News Neil Shapiro (President)
AOL division of AOL-Time-Warner: Jonathan Miller, (chair and CEO)
Having this kind of representation in media control will no doubt influence the type of stories that are marqueed-up for award presentation:
Seven of the eight Best Picture nominees’ film stories are about a white man dealing with internal conflict! Hollywood films once again lag behind the diversity of interesting stories that are being exhibited throughout this rainbow-colored country.
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