For the second year in a row, all of the actors in the 2016 Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress categories are white. In 2015, the hashtagged phrase #OscarsSoWhite made the rounds on Twitter, protesting the lack of diversity in the Academy Awards. When the situation repeated itself in 2016, noted Hollywood voices including Spike Lee, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith announced their intentions to boycott the Oscars to make a statement.
The Academy was quick to react, and has released a number of changes dedicated to increasing the diversity of the Academy—and thus, they hope, its award winners—by 2020. If you are looking for a research paper topic in your courses on film studies, African American studies, or civil rights, consider taking a look at the changes being made by the Academy—and weighing in on whether or not this is enough. Read more