Each year, the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences celebrate a variety of achievements in film. These include accomplishments such as acting, sound mixing and even the competitive category of being either Daniel Day-Lewis or Meryl Streep. However, the award show- watching community raised an uproar after the Academy released this year’s contenders, which were severely lacking in racial diversity despite the recent release of “Selma,” the story of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Academy was quick to stand by their decision not to nominate David Oyelowo for his portrayal of the champion of equality. “‘Selma’ did not inspire enough white guilt in me, at least not to the point where I’d feel like I were racist if I didn’t vote for its leading actor,” said Anne Mulbury, a member of the nominating committee. “‘Selma’ allowed me to ignore my fear of people thinking I’m prejudiced, so I figured that Oyelowo must not have had all that great of a performance.”
In the wake of the gut-wrenching, guilt-inducing “12 Years of a Slave” released in 2014, “Selma” was just not enough to make the Academy unsettlingly aware of the privileged history white people in America have enjoyed. David Oyelowo may have delivered an inspiring performance, but he failed to make both viewers and critics alike shift uncomfortably in their theatre seats.