Oscars revert back to old ways

Not that I need validation, but guess what? CNN.com is asking the same questions about diversity and the Oscars. There were high hopes –well, sort of– when Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress for her role as “Mammie” in the big screen version of Gone with the Wind… then it took 62 years for a Black woman to get another OscarĀ®. Then there was a breath of fresh air as Mo’Nique won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie Precious, and Geoffrey Fletcher won for Best Adapted Screenplay. As the years between Oscar-wins for African Americans got shorter, there were many people in the film industry who assumed that would indicate that Black actors were now just being considered “actors” and not “Black actors” who are relegated to straight-to-video “urban” gangsta films.

Wrong!

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Regardless of the slew of Blacks in front of and behind the camera at last year’s Academy Awards, apparently 2010 just couldn’t cut it. Even though there were some brilliant Black actresses in leading films (Rashida Jones, The Social Network and Yaya DaCosta, The Kids Are Alright) a sister (or a brother) just couldn’t get any recognition.

According to CNN.com:

This year there was a decided dearth of diversity in the Oscar nominations. There are no women or people of color among the director nominees, and the acting nominees are all white. Javier Bardem, who is up for best actor for his role in “Biutiful,’ is a Spaniard and therefore European.

So what does it take for Black actors and filmmakers to get any real recognition at the Oscars? I have no clue. And apparently neither does the Academy of Motion Pictures and Science.

Read the entire article at CNN.com.

Rashida Jones and Yaya DaCosta Snubbed at SAG Awards?

Black Talent News picked up an AOL Black Voices story that ran during the start of the award season: Rashida Jones and Yaya DaCosta were apparently snubbed when it came time for nominations for the Screen Actors Guild (“SAG”) Award. What makes this oversight sting so much is the fact that many in the actor’s branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences also vote in the SAG Awards.

Coming off a year when the movie Precious seemed to be the only hope for a Black actor or director to even be considered, it seems that the movie industry is sending a message that they could care less about Blacks in front of the camera or behind it.

Yaya DaCosta in the Kids Are Alright

The film award season is sparked by a series of awards to reward the past year of film. A part of that season involves the announcement of nominations, including the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the culmination of all of these in the Academy Awards. The Film Experience blog goes even deeper to outline who and where actors were omitted!

According to AOL Black Voices:
While Halle Berry received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in ‘Frankie and Alice,’ she was left off the list when nominations for the 17th SAG Awards were announced.

Berry was one of many actors who were snubbed, but one of the biggest omissions, as noted by The Film Experience’s Nathaniel Rogers, is among the films nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Yaya DaCosta and Rashida Jones were left off the ensemble list from their respected films, ‘The Social Network’ and ‘The Kids Are All Right.’

“Yaya DaCosta, who so deliciously handles her role of Ruffalo’s lover and employee. Seriously now, she delivers fantastic line readings in this movie and underlines some of the movie’s more subtle points about Ruffalo’s character as well as contributing to its randy high spirits. I consider it an egregious omission,” states Rogers.

Read more at AOL Black Voices

Given the slight, it should be no surprise that the International Black Women’s Film Festival exists or that we try to push our own awards…

Leslie Uggams & Top Model’s Yaya DaCosta Star on Broadway

The multi-talented singer and actress Leslie Uggams stars in the revival of Leslie Lee’s 1975 autobiographical play “The First Breeze of Summer.” Former contestant on Tyra Bank’s America’s Next Top Model, Yaya DaCosta (one of my favorites) blossoms in the play as Ms. Uggams’ younger self.

The New York Times praises Ms. Uggams’ and Ms. DaCosta’s performances. Leslie Uggams has starred in nummerous plays, television series, and films, but may be best known for her role as Kizzie in the groundbreaking television mini-series “Roots.”