The New York Times published a story on Sunday by film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott (“Hollywood’s Whiteout”) about the lack of black actors in 2011’s Academy Award-nominated films.
This year’s best picture field is “more racially homogenous -- more white -- than the 10 films that were up for best picture in 1940, when Hattie McDaniel became the first black American to win an Oscar,” they wrote. “In view of recent history the whiteness of the 2011 Academy Awards is a little blinding.”
Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Oscar for her supporting role in “Ghost,” is livid over her alleged omission from the piece.
After Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won Oscars in 2002, the Times argued, “real change seemed to have come to movies or at least the Academy, which had given statuettes to a total of seven black actors in the previous 73 years.”
After Mr. Washington and Ms. Berry, there would be Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker (both best actors); Morgan Freeman (best supporting actor); Jennifer Hudson and Mo’Nique (best supporting actresses).
Goldberg, who won in 1990, ripped the Times on Monday's "View."
“It’s hard not to take it personally,” Goldberg said, with her own Oscar statuette in tow. “People in Somalia know; people in China know. You’re supposed to be better than this. This is not some newspaper from Hoochie-Coochie Land. Dammit, get your facts straight!”
But the Times said its facts are perfectly straight.
“The error lies with those who are reading the story incorrectly,” a Times spokesperson said in a statement. “The point of the piece was not to name every black actor or actress who has been awarded an Oscar, it was to draw a comparison between the number who won prior to 2002 (the year Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won) and those who have won since. And the story states very clearly that in 73 years, prior to 2002, only seven black actors/actresses won Oscars.”