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All-white Oscar nominations only begin to describe Hollywood's lack of diversity
For two years running, only white actors have been nominated. In fact, minorities and women are under-represented in all of Hollywood's arenas. - photo by Sam Turner
Insult and outrage have plagued the 88th Academy Awards since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominees on Thursday. For the second year in a row, all the nominated actors were white, leading to criticism and allegations of racism against the Academy.

As a part of this backlash, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite has become popular once again on Twitter.

Many, including prominent director Spike Lee, contributed to the conversation.

Lee further announced on Monday that he would be boycotting the 2016 ceremony, reported the Atlantic. As Lee is slated to receive an honorary Oscar, his absence will not go unnoticed.

The same day, the academy's president issued an official statement.

"I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion," said Cheryl Boone Isaacs. "This is a difficult but important conversation, and it is time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership."

Many have pointed to the apparent lack of diversity in the academy as contributing to the all-white nominations. Even though Boone Isaacs is an African-American woman, most academy members are white men.

Seventy-seven percent of members are male and an overwhelming 94 percent are white, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Homogenization in Hollywood, however, begins before the Oscar nominees are chosen, or even before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences scrupulously selects its predominantly white, male roster.

Lack of diversity begins at casting, according to a 2015 study by the Bunche Center at UCLA. According to the study, 75 percent of lead actors are male and 83 percent are white.

Curiously, the study found that diversity is in the financial interest of producers. Films that had diverse casts received the greatest profits, overall.

"At every level, in every arena, women and minorities are under-represented in the industry," Darnell Hunt, one of the study's co-authors told NPR, "And the only question really is how serious, how egregious that level of under-representation is."

The other arenas include writing, directing, and producing. The 2016 Academy Award nominations for directing and best picture included only male directors and not surprisingly the Bunche study found that only 6 percent of directors are female.

"Casting is not the end goal," Hunt told the Christian Science Monitor. "Its the same people making those decisions. Imagine what could come out of the industry if the executive suite itself is more diverse. Thats the new frontier.
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