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While the Oscars add more diversity to its nominations, it has more work to do even after 90 years of holding the award show
From the inner-workings of Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” leads the list with an astounding 13 nominations including Best Directior, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
Actress Octavia Spencer has been nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in the film “The Shape of Water.” After the announcement of her nomination, Spencer revealed on Twitter that she has been a victim of the gender inequity that resides in Hollywood. Spencer tweeted that she was being vastly underpaid as compared to her other co-stars and only with the help of actress Jessica Chastain was she able to obtain the correct salary:
“I am making 5x my salary bc Jessica stood with me. I don’t know what or if it cost her anything as far as her rate, I just know she stood with me, and am eternally grateful.”, tweeted Spencer.
Chastain replied to Spencer’s tweet with: “She had been underpaid for so long. When I discovered that, I realized that I could tie her deal to mine to bring up her quote. Men should start doing this with their female co-stars.”
The Oscars in the past have been criticized for their selective nominations which consisted of mostly, or all white nominees. With the growing support of inclusion for all underrepresented groups that has begun to take Hollywood by storm, the Oscars would have hoped to break away from their exclusive past. Although the awards seem to be changing for the better, many still feel that the Oscars have not taken all minorities into consideration.
In an interview with the New York Times, the president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Alex Nogales, stated that there may even be protesting at the awards due to the underrepresentation of Latino actors and actresses in film.
“We are expecting that we are going to have to go to the Academy Awards this year and demonstrate,” said Nogales. “We’ve tried to push in less hostile ways. But these studios don’t seem to understand anything else.”
Greta Gerwig, nominated for Best Director, also falls into a minority group that has barely made an impact on the award show. Being only the fifth female director recognized by the Academy shows a huge gap in nominations when comparing those of men versus those of women. Some fans of the hit movie “Wonder Woman” were outraged that director Patty Jenkins was snubbed of a nomination despite it’s record of being the top-grossing superhero origin film ever to be released.
With each award show of 2018, there have been drastic realizations that there must be a change in the Hollywood dynamic in order for every Hollywood job-holder to experience equality. The Golden Globes and the SAG Awards focused on empowering women in Hollywood and women worldwide to stand up for their rights and to end the sexist rituals that have been on display for decades. As the Oscars draw closer, the award show has an opportunity to become a platform used to support discrimination in the film industry and in many other work environments as well.