We have just over 48 hours to go until the Oscars, and the diversity controversy is not going away. Al Sharpton is planning to lead a protest on Sunday night near the Dolby Theater before the show begins, while the decision by the producers to cut Best Original Song performances by Antony Hegarty (a.k.a. Anohni, the first transgender nominee ever) and South Korean soprano Sumi Jo, yet add Dave Grohl to the program, have the led to further outrage (read Hegarty’s letter about why she’s boycotting the show here). And that’s only the most recent controversy. When the Oscar nominations were first announced, “Carol” landed six nods in some key categories, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Adapted Screenplay. However, the film’s director, Todd Haynes, missed out, and the movie didn’t land in the Best Picture field either.
Blanchett continues by perceptively noting the limited scope of nominations is indicative of a bigger issue in the industry. “There’s a conservatism at work on many levels. I hazard a guess that there are many Academy members who didn’t even see films like ‘Carol’ who said, ‘Aww, this is just a film about two women who fall in love. I don’t know if that’s going to appeal to me.’ I think it’s important to be open-minded,” Blanchett continued. “Todd [Haynes] has directed an extraordinary film. It’s resonated with critics and audiences. In the end that’s the most important thing. Todd has been doing this for so long, and has been so influential because he’s got an outsider’s perspective. What he’s done with ‘Carol’ is he’s brought the authenticity of that perspective but made a completely inside film. And I think that’s a quiet revolution. For his work not to be recognized, I find it bewildering.”
There have been many voices in the past few weeks, with many more to come. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.