CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After the 2015 Oscars nominations were announced, #OscarsSoWhite trended for days. Since then, the Academy announced a goal of doubling the number of women and minority members by 2020.
However, a lot more work needs to be done.
This year’s nominations delivered more frustration, with black British actress Cynthia Erivo being the only person of color nominated across 20 acting categories.
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Out of five directing nominations, all nominees were men.
The 91-year-old organization has an exclusive governing body and voting process with more than 8,000 members.
Not all of the voting members are publicized but as of 2019, 11 of the officers are people of color and 24 women sit on the board of governors.
So why does this keep happening? Charlotte-area film expert Tommy Nichols weighed in.
"I call it human nature, usually people vote for who they identify with, said Nichols. “There’s a great lack of diversity that exists there but then the studio has these other responsibilities to green-light more films of diversity."
Issues like these are why Nichols has devoted several years to diversifying the film industry through the creation of the Charlotte black film festival.
This year marks the 10th anniversary.
The mission is to heighten awareness and promote the significance of black cinema and independent filmmakers.
"We’ve had 12 films that have come out of Charlotte Film Fest that have gone on to national distribution,” Nichols said. “Don’t let the Oscars be your gauge on if you'll be successful or not.”