Hollywood Reporter On All-White Cover: It’s Not Us, It’s The Industry!

The Hollywood Reporter/Twitter
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There are three and a half months until the 88th Academy Awards, but the campaigns for the best films of 2015 are already underway. Enter The Hollywood Reporter and their cover featuring the likely contenders for best actress Oscars, who are all white women.

Features Executive Editor Stephen Galloway addressed the elephant in the room Wednesday with a post about the cover titled “Why Every Actress on The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Cover Is White.” (Galloway is pictured above with Brenda Brkusic at the Television Academy’s 66th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards in 2014.)

Galloway writes:

Yet even for me, a white man, it was impossible to ignore the fact that every one of these women was white — whether old or young, English, Australian or American. That was appalling. The awful truth is that there are no minority actresses in genuine contention for an Oscar this year. Straight Outta Compton, which has provided some great roles for African-American men (and whose success addsproof [sic] that studios ignore minority audiences at their peril) had no women leads. Furious 7? Not quite Oscar bait.

This is at a time when people of color make up almost 38 percent of the U.S, population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and African-Americans, in particular, buy far move [sic] more movie tickets per capita than Caucasians.

The cover is accompanied by a roundtable discussion between the actresses in which they talk about the gender wage gap, sex scenes and other topics. While the trade publication has featured actresses of color on their roundtables before, as Galloway wrote, talking about diversity and starting a mentoring program is “not enough.”

“Two years ago, I was thrilled that three of the six women on our roundtable were black: Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong’o and Octavia Spencer,” Galloway wrote. “I thought, perhaps naively, that this represented a sea-change in the film business, and hoped it was catching up with the tectonic shifts that industries all across America have had to make to reflect this country’s diversity. But I was wrong.”

The online reaction, ranging from incredulity to condemnation, was swift:

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Notable Replies

  1. In the early 1970s, feminist art historian Linda Nochlin posed the question, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”

  2. People of color need to stop looking for acceptance and affirmation from institutions built by and for white people.

    You’ve got the BET awards, the NAACP Image awards, the Latin Grammy’s. Fuck Oscar, Emmy, and Tony.

    Would it be nice for society to recognize entertainers of color on a more consistent basis? Sure, but a person of color basing their self worth on whether or not white America accepts them is a fools errand.

  3. Avatar for vonq vonq says:

    Considering the lag time on movies, the complaints are about three years too late.

  4. Remember Willie Sutton’s reply when he was asked why he robbed banks: “Because that’s where the money is”.

  5. Avatar for meri meri says:

    Well, looks like blacks are 12.2% of the USA population.

    I see eight women up there.

    If there was some sort of proportional representation, we’d ALMOST have one black woman up there.

    Latinos are 16.4%. They’d have a more solid complaint.

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