Cinema – An Oscar too white


The Oscar has been acusadado to give priority to the white actors to nominate and reward. Only 16 performers have gotten the statuette in more than nine decades of history of the award granted by the Academy of motion picture Arts and Sciences Hollywood.

In moments in which again the issue of race turns on, literally, the territory of the united states, this work aims to give a glimpse of the performers of color who have managed to secure the coveted golden figure in the shape of a man.

The name of Hattie McDaniel (Wichita, Kansas, 1895– Woodland Hills, California, 1952) is today almost forgotten, but this woman made history when Oscar was only 12 years old. McDaniel became more in the first black person to get an Oscar for her portrayal of Mammy in the legendary film “gone with the wind” (Gone With the Wind, Victor Fleming, 1939).

And did so in a time when racial segregation prevented him from sitting next to the other nominees, or take photos with the other members of the team of the film. In fact, it was thanks to David O. Selznick, powerful producer of the aforementioned film starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, which made the exception of her. The daughter of freed slaves, McDaniel, who was the third to receive the award of Best supporting actress, including in 1936 in the Academy award, he was sitting at a small table in the back of the room of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, away from the movie stars.

“Academy of motion picture Arts and Sciences, members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: this is one of the happiest moments of my life and I want to thank you for your kindness to each one of you who participated in selecting me for one of their awards. It has made Me feel very, very humble; and always carry a beacon for anything that you can do in the future. I sincerely hope you always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you how I feel, and I can say is thanks and God bless you”.

But contrary to what one might think, that after this milestone, the Academy continue to take into account other performers of color, they would have to spend nearly 25 years for the Oscar would be in the hands of another black. That would be Sidney Poitier (Miami, 1927), which in 1963 won the Best actor award, for “lilies of The valley” (Lilies of the Field, Ralph Nelson).

With Poitier in this category is only Denzel Washington, who in 2001 was for his work in “training Day” (Training Day, Antoine Fuqua), the same year in which Halle Berry became the only interpreter of color that has taken the award for Best actress for “Monster”s Ball” by Marc Foster. Three years later, Jamie Foxx won completed the trio, along with Poitier and Washington, of the blacks that have won the award for Best actor for “Ray,” Taylor Hackford.

But the Academy is a conservative institution, which is a reflection of the country in which it is produced, and in which it is not only people of color that gives you little or no presence in their nominees. Also the women are. Example of this is the treatment given to the filmmakers working women, the group that only Kathryn Bigellow has been done with the award for Best director in his entire history.

And despite the fact that there has been in recent years a slight opening to these two sectors, which have heavy weights of the acting as the above-mentioned Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in 2016 came the boycott of the awards by a good part of stars of color after being announced the nominees, and that in these there was no interpreter black. A lot of people used at that time, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite (Oscars so white) as a way of showing discontent on social networks.

List of actors and actresses of color who have won the Oscar in the categories of main and distribution..

Hattie McDaniel
Best supporting actress for “the wind” in 1940.

Sidney Poitier
Best Actor for “lilies of The valley” in 1964.

Louis Gossett Jr.
The first to win the Oscar for the Best supporting actor in 1983 for his role as Sergeant Emil Foley in “Challenge of destiny” (An Officer and a Gentleman, Taylor Hackford).

Denzel Washington
Best actor for his role in “Training Day” in 2001. In 1990 won the Oscar for Best supporting Actor, and with eight nominations, is the black actor most nominated in the history.

Whoopi Goldberg
Best supporting actress for “The shadow of love” (Ghost, Jerry Zucker, 1991).

Cuba Gooding Jr.
Best supporting Actor for “Jerry Maguire”, Cameron Crowe, in 1997.

Halle Berry
The only to have won the Best actress Oscar for her role in “Monster”s Ball” by Marc Foster, in 2001.

Jamie Foxx
Best actor for “Ray,” Taylor Hackford, in 2005.

Morgan Freeman
Best supporting actor in 2005 for “Million Dollar Baby”, Clint Eastwood.

Forest Whitaker
Best supporting actor for “The Last King of Scotland” (The Last King of Scotland, Kevin Macdonald) in 2006.

Jennifer Hudson
Best supporting actress for “Dreamgirls”, de Bill Condom in 2007.

Mo Nique
Best supporting actress for “Precious”, Lee Daniels in 2010.

Octavia Spencer
Best supporting actress for “The Help”, Tate Taylor, in 2011.

Lupita’nyong or
Best supporting actress for “12 years of slavery” (12 Years a Slave) Steve McQueen, in 2014.

Viola Davis
Best supporting actress for “Fences”, of Denzel Washington in 2017.

Mahershala Ali
Best supporting actor for “Moonlight”, Barry Jenkins, in 2017.