Oscars finally diverse after 89 years

As actor Tiffany Haddish reads the list of nominees for Best Director for the 2018 Academy Awards out loud, I can’t help but think ‘Maybe this year will be the last year of white male domination for this award.” I was right. This will be the first year that the category isn’t dominated by white males –– something I’m really delighted about. Haddish’s witty charisma while reading the nomination for best directing made this moment even more exciting.

As a pop culture fiend, I was eager to hear the 2018 Academy Award nominations. One of my favorite actresses at the moment, Tiffany Haddish, announced the nominees for this year’s Oscars alongside Andy Serkis this past week.

When she announced Jordan Peele as a nominee for Best Director, her body lit up with animation and excitement for Peele and his blockbuster hit, “Get Out.” Forbes reports that “Get Out” is the highest grossing debut film based on an original screenplay, surpassing the supernatural thriller “The Blair Witch Project.”

Greta Gerwig was also able to snag a nomination for her directing role in “Lady Bird.” Gerwig is the fifth woman to ever be nominated for this award. I should also probably mention the fact that the Oscars have been running for 89 years and only one women has been able to walk away with the prestigious award.

Guillermo Del Toro is also among the list of nominees for best director for his fantasy drama, “The Shape of Water.” Del Toro has an extensive movie list under his belt. From writing, directing, producing and being a novelist, the man does it all. He has had a total of five Oscar nominations throughout his film career and has no desire to ever stop making quality films. Del Toro is the third Mexican to be nominated for best directing, if he wins he will be the third Mexican to take home the best directing award.

Portraits of Oscar Best Director nominees Jordan Peele, Guillermo Del Toro and Greta Gerwig. (Julio Ceberio/Golden Gate Xpress)

Recognition for minorities in film is long overdue. White men have been dominating this category for years and now after 89 years of being on the air, the Oscars are finally showing us appreciation.

At the 2018 SAG awards, Gina Rodriguez, from The CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” explains to E! the importance of Latino representation within the lm industry. She said, “Yay Sony for putting a Latino as the lead because barley people do that. I mean, we do make 55 million plus in the country,” she continues. “We do buy one in every four tickets, every single weekend, and make sure that your movies do well.”

Peele, Del Toro and Gerwig being nominated for Best Director at the Oscars is huge step for The Academy and a step forward for the film industry in recognizing the work of talented people who don’t happen to be old white males.

According to USA Today, the 2016 Oscars was the second year in a row to have all its nominees for supporting and lead actor be white. Films like “Straight Outta Compton” and “Beasts of No Nation” dominated the award season that year but didn’t manage to score an Oscar nomination. So what does that tell us?

It tells us that minorities have to work harder to be recognized within the film industry and even sometimes after putting so much effort into their work, filmmakers, producers, actors and directors still see less nominations and wins for these reputable awards.

“I cried when I saw that Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig were nominated. I was scrolling through Twitter moments and expected to NOT see them,” said Kimberly Hoyos, filmmaker and creator of website The Light Leaks, as she expressed her emotions when she first saw the list of nominees for Best Director. “When I saw their names, I felt such an intense happiness I couldn’t control my tears. But it shouldn’t be taking until 2018 to reach these milestones.”

I’m not here to discredit the work that white males have brought into the film world, but I am here to take a stance for all the minorities that deserve Oscar recognition and a good standing place within the film industry.

I’ll be tuning in to the 2018 Oscars in hopes of seeing either Del Toro, Gerwig or Peele take the prestigious award home. Their movies are quality work, but I want them to win so we can finally start the movement in getting more minorities in film recognized.

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