WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flood Advisory View Alerts

Will Academy Award nominations be '#OscarsSoWhite 3.0'?

April Reign, the creator of #OscarsSoWhite -- a movement that two years ago elevated the conversation about Hollywood...

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 9:07 AM
Updated: Jan 23, 2018 9:07 AM

April Reign, the creator of #OscarsSoWhite -- a movement that two years ago elevated the conversation about Hollywood's lack of diversity and inclusion -- doesn't like to "handicap" movies ahead of the Oscar nominations.

But, she admits, she has a soft spot for Jordan Peele's "Get Out."

"It's a movie that we've never seen before," she told CNN in a recent interview. "The actual language used, I think, opened a lot of eyes and created and is still creating some very important conversations about race in this country."

In the run-up to Tuesday's Oscar nominations, some in Hollywood are wondering if the lineup chosen by members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will fail to reflect the efforts behind the scenes put toward building a more diverse film community.

"Get Out," a shining example of that inclusivity, has at least some experts on its side.

The film, about an interracial couple whose meet-the-parents weekend takes a turn as dark as it is thought-provoking, is considered a major contender in the best picture, best director and best original screenplay categories, according to an analysis of critics predictions on awards season website Gold Derby.

Last year's best picture winner, "Moonlight," was considered a significant moment in the battle for a more diverse Oscars, made even more meaningful by the fact that it came one year after the birth of a hashtag that took the institution to task for its lackluster attention to the issue.

"Get Out's" inclusion in Tuesday's nominations would undoubtedly be a significant moment for first-time director Peele, but would it also be considered a sign that lasting change has arrived in Hollywood? Far from it, according to Reign.

She said that much like how some declared America a post-racial society after the election of President Barack Obama, "Moonlight" caused some to see Hollywood's diversity problem as solved.

"I think that too many people put all their eggs in the 'Moonlight' basket," Reign said. "'Moonlight' was...very deserving, but it can't carry the entire film industry on it's back, nor should it."

Writer and filmmaker Imran Siddiquee, who focuses his work on issues relating to gender, race and popular culture, agrees.

"Unfortunately, it [would be] a huge deal because we don't see it often at all," he said. "I say 'unfortunately' because it shouldn't be a big deal to just get a nomination for a black man making a movie in America, but it is."

"Get Out" is the only film helmed by a black director considered a frontrunner for a best picture nomination this year.

The director's category could shape up to be among the most inclusive, with Mexico-born Guillermo del Toro and "Lady Bird" director Greta Gerwig among the possible contenders.

If nominated, Gerwig would be the first woman since 2010 winner Kathryn Bigelow to breakthrough in the category.

Those stats are proof enough, Reign and Siddiquee said, that change is only beginning.

"As much as they're very important and we should celebrate them...I don't think they represent, in and of themselves, systematic change," Siddiquee said.

In the lead acting categories, "Get Out" actor Daniel Kaluuya is the sole actor of color considered a major contender for a nomination. Denzel Washington ("Roman J. Isreal, Esq.") and Chadwick Boseman ("Marshall") are also in the conversation, though considered long-shots.

In the supporting actor races, Octavia Spencer ("The Shape of Water"), Mary J. Blige ("Mudbound") and Hong Chau ("Downsizing") are among the possible nominees, as are Jason Mitchell ("Mudbound") and Idris Elba ("Molly's Game").

The nominations as a whole, Reign predicts, are "going to be OscarsSoWhite 3.0, unfortunately."

"My goal is to talk myself out of a job," she said. "So that, both in front of the camera and behind the camera, there is enough diversity and inclusion that it happens so automatically that we don't have to talk about it in such stark terms."

Incremental change

The recently held 2018 Golden Globes didn't inspire much hope for what we could see from the Oscar nominations.

The Golden Globe nominees for best director were all male, and of the 30 actors nominated in on-screen film categories, only five were persons of color.

It's situations like this that have inspired the Academy to expand its membership in hopes of diversifying its ranks, with the goal of doubling its membership of women and minorities by 2020.

As of last year, women accounted for only 28 percent of the Academy's total membership and persons of color only 13 percent.

Progress on this front, Reign said, will hopefully result in more inclusive nominations.

"I hope that the increase of women in the director membership at the Academy means women will hold feet to the fire, not just in the directing category, and that all marginalized communities will speak up in their own individual silos so we can see more representation of traditionally underrepresented communities," she said.

The Academy's dedication to membership expansion could weaken the predictive power of the Golden Globes in the years to come, and this year's nominations will be telling.

Both Reign and Siddiquee say the true measure of progress goes beyond a single morning of nominations or a single celebratory evening.

"Maybe in a decade or a few more years, we'll see if these trends last," Siddiquee said. "I do think #OscarsSoWhite has had an impact and has already shifted things a bit, but we still have so much more to do."

Fatigue is a real concern of Reigns. She wonders if people will tire of talking about diversity and inclusion, but hopes they will not -- as there's progress to be made in front of the camera and behind it.

To that end, she's hoping to make some direct impact, with the upcoming launch of a yet-to-be-named database that will help studios and television networks find diverse talent.

Until what ends up on screen reflects the efforts of many to change the way decisions are made in Hollywood and whose stories are told, Reign predicts moviegoers will continue to speak with their wallets.

"If you're paying your hard earned dollars, you should be able to see yourself in some facet or another on screen -- not just during award season, but all year long," she said. "And that's the goal of #OscarsSoWhite."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20931250
Hinds19961410
Harrison17562303
Rankin13369277
Jackson13156243
Madison9950212
Lee9890170
Jones8310161
Forrest7542148
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6289144
Lamar613384
Lafayette6072117
Washington5291133
Bolivar4776129
Oktibbeha457197
Panola4458103
Pearl River4437141
Warren4299119
Marshall4286102
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4062132
Union404675
Neshoba4005176
Lincoln3886109
Hancock373385
Leflore3471124
Sunflower331589
Tate325384
Pike3215105
Scott311472
Yazoo305069
Alcorn299465
Itawamba297877
Copiah293965
Coahoma290479
Simpson289586
Tippah285168
Prentiss276659
Marion266279
Leake261773
Wayne261541
Grenada256484
Covington255280
Adams246982
Newton245761
George238547
Winston226081
Tishomingo222567
Jasper220048
Attala213673
Chickasaw205457
Holmes187172
Clay183254
Stone179733
Clarke177776
Tallahatchie176140
Calhoun165431
Yalobusha160136
Smith159334
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126534
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113832
Jefferson Davis105532
Tunica103225
Claiborne101330
Benton97525
Kemper95628
Humphreys94632
Franklin82923
Quitman78916
Choctaw73917
Wilkinson65128
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521623

Reported Deaths: 10739
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754061493
Mobile39067799
Madison34040496
Tuscaloosa25367444
Montgomery24019567
Shelby23186239
Baldwin20701302
Lee15589165
Calhoun14342311
Morgan14158271
Etowah13685346
Marshall11995220
Houston10404278
Elmore10011200
Limestone9852147
Cullman9503189
St. Clair9463234
Lauderdale9265228
DeKalb8757181
Talladega8115171
Walker7139275
Jackson6756110
Autauga6750103
Blount6519134
Colbert6229130
Coffee5424113
Dale4772111
Russell430038
Franklin420782
Chilton4101109
Covington4061114
Tallapoosa3907146
Escambia390174
Dallas3525149
Chambers3514122
Clarke347060
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295995
Winston273172
Bibb256059
Marengo248361
Geneva246075
Pickens233259
Barbour226455
Hale218575
Butler212967
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182644
Randolph177241
Monroe172540
Washington165238
Macon155648
Clay150155
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124427
Bullock121640
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 56°
Columbus
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 55°
Oxford
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 52°
Starkville
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
Some spotty showers will move through our area this morning but should clear out by the afternoon. We should see some breaks in the clouds and temperatures reaching the mid to upper 60s.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather