After Four Years Of The #OscarsSoWhite Movement, The Academy Awards Is Inviting Its Creator, April Reign
In 2015, the Academy Awards looked much different than they do today. Back then “Birdman” took home the Oscar for Best Movie. Actresses nominated included Marion Cotillard, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, and Reese Witherspoon. Steve Carell was nominated for Best Actor, as was Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, and Eddie Redmayne. There’s no subtleness that in 2015, movies lacked diversity and social media aimed for the Academy’s failure to recognize actors of color and films with proper representation.
The lack of diversity in 2015, prompted April Reign to use the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, and it quickly went viral.
Reign’s brilliant hashtag sparked much-needed dialogue about representation in Hollywood and the recognition of people of color at the Oscars. The following year the Academy invited more actors and creatives in Hollywood to be part of this exclusive group in order to represent diversity. In 2015 they invited 322 new members, in 2016 they invited 683 more, and in 2018, they invited another 928. Talk about inclusiveness.
If you’re wondering whether or not, #OscarsSoWhite worked, just look at the diverse group of people and films nominated this year including the first Mexican indigenous actress, Yalitza Aparicio.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, this year’s Academy Awards are the most diverse ever. Thanks to social change via social media, people of color are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
“It’s not about saying who is snubbed and who should have been nominated, it’s about opening the discussion more on how the decisions were made, who was cast and who tells the story behind the camera,” Reign told Huffington Post in 2016. “My goal was just to have the conversation and push the dialogue further.”
To thank Reign for her incredible work, the Academy has invited her to attend this year’s Oscars.
“I’ve been holding this secret for nearly a year!” Reign said in a tweet about her exciting invitation.
“After creating the hashtag and working for almost five years to turn it into a movement that not only changed the Academy but made its way into so many other industries, I feel immense pride and a sense of coming full circle, back to the where it all began,” Reign told The Hollywood Reporter. “The work continues, but I am thrilled to be able to celebrate the incremental progress that has been made, even if only for a night.”
She added that seeing films such as “Roma” and “BlacKkKlansman” is proof as to the success of her social media campaign.
“I’m going to give myself permission to think that the work that I and many who believe in issues of diversity, equity and inclusion have done is having an impact,” she told the publication. “Seeing Spike nominated is a very public validation of that work. Nevertheless, the daily work of [#OscarsSoWhite] is for all marginalized people, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age, or disability, to have opportunities they didn’t before.”
As far as who he will be her plus one to the event, Reign said she is taking her son.
READ: The Power Of Women Of Color Is Strong In Both “One Day At A Time” And “Black Panther” And If You Want More, You Better Go Watch
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