The 2018 Oscars Snubbed Asian & Latinx Actors Yet Again & It’s Beyond Disappointing
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its full list of nominees for the 90th annual award show. While the Academy was initially praised for having more diverse nominees this year, no Latinx or Asian actors received 2018 Oscar nominations, as pointed out by Huffington Post. This lack of representation was also noticed by several performers working in the industry and by movie-goers, and they demand that Hollywood be more inclusive in the future.
Two years ago, the overwhelming number of white nominees for the 2015 Oscars (seriously, there were zero non-white acting nominees for the first time since 1998) spurred the hashtag "OscarsSoWhite." Many protested the lack of diversity and called on Hollywood to give more opportunities to people of color behind and in front of the camera. Last year was slightly better, with several black actors nominated for their work in Fences (Best Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis and Best Actor nominee Denzel Washington), Moonlight (Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala Ali, Best Supporting Actress nominee Naomie Harris), and Hidden Figures (Best Supporting Actress nominee Octavia Spencer). However, the only actor of Asian descent to be nominated was Dev Patel for Lion, and no Latinx actors were nominated — a bad trend that has been going on for six straight years.
Given this pattern, many people believe it's time #OscarsSoWhite acknowledged other minority groups that are being left out.
This year's nominees, like last year's, recognize several black actors, but the nominees are overall mostly white. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) and Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water) all received nods, while the 16 other acting nominations (that's 80-percent of the nods) all went to white actors. Two of the categories — Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actor in a Supporting Role — had no non-white nominees.
This lack of representation isn't because of a lack of talent. As Fresh Off the Boat actor Constance Wu pointed out on social media, Vietnamese-American actor Hong Chau could have received a nod for her outstanding performance in Downsizing — a role that garnered her Best Supporting Actress nominations from this year's Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Wu wrote,
"How many Asian Americans have been nominated for Acting in the past decade??? Zero? I think it’s zero. And Chau was wondeful!!! [sic] Like........???"
Gina Rodriguez, who led a social-media movement in which she recognized Oscar-worthy Latinx performances in 2016, blamed a lack of opportunity for the reason why there weren't any Latinx acting nominees. The Jane the Virgin actor wrote on Twitter,
"How I feel about the
#Oscars this morning and the lack of Latinos...'The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity; -Viola Davis."
She also gave a shoutout to non-acting nominees that represented Latinx heritage, Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican director behind The Shape of Water, and Coco, the Mexican-set Día de los Muertos Pixar film that is nominated for Best Animated Film and Best Original Song.
Mexican-American journalist Jorge Ramos also threw out statistics to highlight how little Latin-Americans are represented on television. "Time for an Oscar," Ramos wrote on Twitter. "Latinos are 18% of population and 23% of moviegoers but only 3% of speaking characters in film."
Other Twitter users also voiced their concerns about the lack of diversity. Some cited other statistics:
While others voiced their disappointment:
As Huffington Post points out, this lack of diversity is particularly troubling given the Academy's history of awarding white actors who portrayed non-white characters with Oscars and nominations. Jennifer Connelly received a win for playing mathematician John Nash's wife, Alicia Esther Lopez-Harrison de Lardé, who was from El Salvador, in A Beautiful Mind; while Greek-American actor George Chakiris won for playing Bernardo, a Puerto-Rican gang member, in West Side Story. Meanwhile Linda Hunt received her Oscar for playing a male Chinese-Australian photographer Billy Kwan, and Luise Rainer won her gold statuette for playing Chinese peasant O-Lan in The Good Earth.
The Academy has made strides to include more African-American performers and directors — now it's time to get more nominations for other people of color. In other words, Hollywood needs to start green-lighting more films helmed by more people of color and diverse narratives.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story included a photo of Kimiko Glenn, instead of Hong Chau. The article has since been updated.