Ever since the Oscar 2016 nominations were announced last Thursday a serious issue has been hitting the headlines, and that's one of diversity.
Not one person of colour was nominated for a single acting Oscar this year. Further, there isn't a single film with a black or ethnic minority in the major categories or in the running for Best Picture. That category is especially problematic as the Academy is free to nominate as many as 10 films and only saw fit to elevate 8. In a year with popular films like Creed and Straight Outta Compton, that seems like a significant oversight.
Some famous faces are planning on boycotting the awards at the end of February and the issue is gaining plenty of headlines. Even Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, herself African American, has had to admit she finds the lack of diversity in the nominations 'heartbreaking.'
Will Smith sat down with Good Morning America to continue this conversation, starting with eloquent comments on the Hollywood dream and breaking down his own reaction to what has been going on. It's an interesting watch.
As with many other commentators, Smith is pointing out that it seems like the trend is going the wrong way - 'a regressive slid slide towards separatism' is how he puts it. And the information bears that out, with more nominations in previous years. With the nominees set in stone and the ceremony fast approaching, there's no way to change that aspect for 2016 but the Academy as a whole will want to look at putting a plan in place for 2017 and beyond - firstly by focussing on opening up a system that's primarily white, middle aged and male.
The Oscars will be given out on the 28th of February 2016.