The 2017 Oscar nominations were a “big disappointment” for their lack of a full array of diversity, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition said on Tuesday.
After receiving harsh criticism for two years for all-white acting and directing nominees, the Academy’s batch of nominees on Tuesday named a much higher number of minorities, with titles like “Moonlight,” “Hidden Figures,” “Fences” and “Lion.”
But the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition — a media watchdog group which includes the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, American Indians in Film and Television and the NAACP Hollywood Bureau — would have preferred to have seen more representation of other minority groups, especially Latinos, Asian-Americans and Native Americans.
“Creatives of color in Hollywood are producing outstanding work that fosters a greater understanding of today’s diverse America and we applaud all of the nominees announced by the Academy today,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
“Without question, the multi-dimensional portrayals of our community are what audiences want and film studios fell short again this past year in meeting that need with greater opportunity for talent of all races and ethnicities,” he continued in the statement obtained by TheWrap. “Latinos are outraged, our actors are not getting the opportunities to work in front of camera, and with few exceptions, in back of camera as well.”
“We are disappointed that the Academy overlooked other outstanding performances by Asian/Asian American actors including Hayden Szeto (“Edge of Seventeen”) and Donnie Yen (“Rogue One”),” said Daniel Mayeda, Chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, who praised the Academy for recognizing “Lion” star Dev Patel in the Best Actor category.
“In addition, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings,’ nominated for Best Animated Feature, is demonstrative of the continual problem Asian/Asian Americans face in Hollywood: Even when the story centers on our experiences, the roles are often played by non-Asian/Asian American actors,” he said.
Following the 2016 Oscar nominations, which spurred the second year of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition launched an initiative calling upon the six top film studios to boost representation of minority groups both in front of and behind the camera.
“To date, no major film studio has agreed to regularly provide data on their released films, regarding diversity in executive leadership, casting, writing, producing and directing, and no head of studio has engaged in conversations with the coalition about urgently needed improvements,” the organization said in a statement.