By Michal Ortner
The Oscars are being questioned over their lack of diversity among the nominees this year. One movie in particular has sparked the question of whether African Americans were snubbed this year by the academy. The film “Selma,” which depicts Martin Luther King Jr. in some of his most trying moments, was nominated, but did not receive the attention that many felt it deserved.
Reginald Hudlin, writer, director, and producer, says that “Selma” was absolutely “Oscar-worthy work.”
“But in a year with a cascading series of racial controversies in Hollywood, the lack of black nominees highlights a bigger problem,” says Hudlin.
Others, such as radio and network host Glenn Beck, have suggested that the “Selma” shun had more to do with the way that it portrayed former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.
“Here’s why the Martin Luther King movie only received best picture and everybody is up in arms, ‘oh, this is racism in Hollywood.’ No. It’s Progressiveism. They have no problem with the race thing. What they have a problem with is how LBJ was portrayed in that movie. The last thing that Progressives want is for their great of the 1960s, LBJ, to be remembered that way.”
“Selma” actor Anthony Mackie says that Oscar voters were simply turned off by the subject matter. “People are just tired of being bombarded with race right now. So everybody is shying away from certain topics and certain movies.”
Mackie was not discouraged by the snub. Instead, he chooses to believe that the best movies were rewarded for their good performances. “Me specifically, if thats something I want, I have to step my game up. I have to do better movies and I have to act better.”
“Selma” received around $11.5 million dollars over the MLK holiday weekend alone. Since its release in December, the film earned over $32 million dollars, according to IMDB.com. The film’s production budget rested around $20 million dollars.
Popular movie websites have received several reviews regarding the film. Its overall approval rating on IMBD.com was a 7.7 out of 10. It has received many praising comments such as “Incredibly well-done, well-acted,” “Powerful” and “A solid film.” Yet, even among the most positive comments, there were still tags of “Something missing” and “Could have been great.”
It is possible that the racial tension in America has left viewers with “racial fatigue.” However, the historical film is a tribute to King and to his courage in a very volatile time.