Hashtag activism like #OscarsSoWhite is A) oversimplified and B) maybe effective? The sweeping reforms the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has introduced in the wake of pressure from the Twitter-born movement has added weight to the idea of social-media-driven change. These are the causes that could creep into your newsfeed on Oscar night.
The hashtag began last year, when all of the acting nominees were white, but really took hold this year when it happened for a second year in a row. Jada Pinkett and Will Smith announced they were boycotting the ceremony, as did Spike Lee, who actually won an honorary Oscar in November. The Academy has pledged to double the number of “women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020.”
The New York female filmmaker incubator Tangerine Entertainment said it best when tweeting a link to a Variety story on the nominated female directors: “meet all two of the women directors this year!” The nominees are predominantly male in every category besides Best Costume Design and, obviously, the acting awards, prompting some #OscarsSoMale proponents to boycott the Oscars, swapping the ceremony for a film directed by a woman instead.
Los Angeles-based artist and professional grant writer Linda Vallejo has repainted Hollywood history. Her series of paintings For Your Consideration: Make ’Em All Mexican uses brown paints to transform white Oscar-winning actors such as Cate Blanchett, Audrey Hepburn, and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon into Latino success stories Catarina Blancarte, Aurora Hernandez and Bernardo y Mateo.
George Clooney brags about wearing the same tux to every awards show, yet if Gwyneth Paltrow recycles a nude pump it’s an international incident. The #AskHerMore hashtag has emerged as a way for frustrated red-carpet viewers to demand questions that go beyond the brands.