Is the 2011 Oscars too mainstream for indie films and minorities?

This years Oscar nominations have been met with much fanfare, but critics will notice that most of the nominated films star well known actors, have studio backing, and million dollar marketing budgets.

What has the Oscars done this year that is so drastically different from previous years? Not much, except that there is a lack of minority groups represented in the selection.

While this may be a harsh assessment seeing as all the nominated films have tremendous qualities, there is a feeling that it could be more open to independent films and minority groups.

The lack of diversity is surely troubling, but there is also the issue of the films that have been made in the past year which have African American actors, but do not hold that ‘Oscar esteem’.

Reaction to the 2011 Academy Awards selection

“These films are cultivated that way for months. Their ethnic representation from year to year is dictated by a handful of marketers and publicists, very, very few of whom are minorities.” Popeater

The fault lies not with the academy, which has in recent years happily given out the occasional statuette to a black actor or actress lucky enough to get a big part in a serious film. Mo’Nique was on hand Tuesday morning because she won for supporting actress last year for her role in “Precious,” a film made by Lee Daniels, an African-American filmmaker. Forest Whitaker won a lead actor Oscar in 2007 for “The Last King of Scotland,” and Halle Berry won a lead actress Oscar in 2002 for “Monster’s Ball” on the same night Denzel Washington won lead actor for “Training Day. – Miami Herald

No one’s suggesting that there should be racial quotas for the Oscars, nor are African-Americans the only under-represented minority among the nominees. Still, for the last decade, the Academy has recognized an explosion of black talent, and in numbers roughly proportional to the percentage of the U.S. population that’s African-American. How does the Academy go from a tally like that down to zero? – Moviefone

2011 Oscars

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