Sunday, October 9, 2016

Topic Of The Day: How We Can Prevent #OscarsSoWhite

As a lot of us that follow the Oscars know we are likely seeing a prevention of #OscarsSoWhite where for two years in a row, not a single person of color was nominated in the acting categories. With films like Moonlight, Fences, Loving, Hidden Figures, and Lion on the horizon, the studios have definitely taken the initiative to prevent a threepeat of this controversy.

But if we audiences want to prevent #OscarsSoWhite from happening, we HAVE to go out and see these movies. It is on us to get up from our couches and to pay to see what the studios are offering to us. We need to make it known to Hollywood, and not just the Academy, that we want to see more diverse stories. If not, then it'll make us seem like children begging for a big Christmas present that we'll never open.

Already, it's starring to seem that way with films like Queen of Katwe falling out of the top 10 despite having positive word of mouth, a well-mounted budget of about $15m, and being a marketable inspirational sports drama. Again, if we want more diversity and we want to prevent #OscarsSoWhite from ever happening, we HAVE to go out and see these movies.

There are two principal languages in Hollywood: English and dollar bills. When we communicate with our dollars, we are sending a message as to what films we want to see. That's why tentpoles and superhero films are the ones that really drive Hollywood's box office dollars. Those are films that the masses will go out in droves to go see. If they were to stop making money, then Hollywood won't make them as much because they'd conclude that there isn't much demand for them.

Hollywood is a business built on supply and demand. We demand it, they make it. But it is not enough for us to vocally demand it. We have to, HAVE TO demand with our dollars. I read a study that looked into films released from 2014 that showed how diverse films make more money and it said that films with about 41-50% people of color made a median average of $122 million which is the highest of all the films that year despite their being only 8 films to make that average. If we go out and support films with more diversity, we could help make that number go higher.

So when the Oscar contenders mentioned at the beginning of this post come out, be sure to go out and pay to see them. It could not only help prevent #OscarsSoWhite from happening but it would move the cause of diversity forward. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!