This morning, the 2016 Academy Award nominations were announced, and many movie-lovers and industry insiders alike were surprised to see the critically-adored NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton missing from the roll in every major category.
Despite being considered a shoo-in by prognosticators, the film was snubbed for Best Picture (even though the Academy only nominated 8 out of a possible 10 films), and the acclaimed work of director F. Gary Gray and star O’Shea Jackson, Jr. was overlooked by voters.
Compton did receive one nomination – for Best Original Screenplay – but it’s worth noting that neither of the film’s principle screenwriters is black, which has resulted in criticism that the Academy has once again “white-washed” Hollywood’s biggest night.
The lack of diversity amongst Oscar nominees has been an issue for decades, but with nominations for 12 Years a Slave in 2014 and Selma in 2015, the notoriously archaic Academy seemed to be very slowly moving in a more inclusive direction.
Now, many fear that by all but ignoring one of the most popular films with a mostly-black cast in film history, Oscar voters may have squandered any goodwill they’d accumulated with the average movie-goer in recent years.
And in Hollywood, green will always trump gold.