In honor of Black History Month, it is a good time for the Academy Awards to change some things that are not working. It is a time to reflect on how far America has come, to make a prediction of the next move, and embrace diversity. There are many talents that are unique to individuals of all colors and each person brings to the forefront a new perspective that when heard with the heart, can make lives richer.
The Los Angeles YWCA believes in the prediction that it is a time of change, inclusion, and empowerment. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the YWCA Advisory Commissioner and the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is driven to find positive change among the anger and frustration that has been the center of discussion around the Academy Awards. It is clear the awards lineup lacks diversity again this year.
Isaacs it the first African-American, as well as, the third female president of the Academy. The president and CEO of the Greater Los Angeles YWCA, Faye Washington, writes that Isaacs is the manifestation of change and the reinvention of an institution with a brand new point of view – a reflection of reality, diversity, and a prediction of the future.
Diversity is beautiful and bright and a desire Isaacs has for the Academy Awards, to see gender and ethnic diversity in the awards nominations, as they are in the industry and audience it celebrates. It is important to note here that the Huffington Post reports, the members of the Academy who choose the nominees for the awards, do not vote for race, but for excellence in entertainment. In recent years, there have been nominations that have recognized the talents of minorities, such as Will Smith, who has received two Academy Award nominations.
Isaacs is working with the members of the Academy to be sure actors are judged solely by their talents and is seeing to it that excellence in performance is rewarded. Isaacs is passionate about achieving this goal because she is the president of the Academy so the industry is looking to her for change. She has gladly accepted this challenge.
Inclusion is a pillar that stands tall in the work Isaacs does with the YWCA. She ensures at-risk-youth have opportunities to be successful. Washington believes in Isaacs’ determination, passion, and perseverance to honor the outstanding accomplishments of Hollywood, by promoting the inclusion of race, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity through the Academy Awards.
Although Americans have made great strides in the right direction of diversity, there is still much that needs to be done at all levels, as seen so blatantly in the Academy Awards nominations. Washington has made the prediction that Isaacs is the voice for those who must be heard.
Meanwhile, the nominations are out and FiveThirtyEight’s predictions have been finalized. Jezebel reports that FiveThirtyEight analyzes the Academy Award nominations and have historically predicted the winners. However, a specific model is followed to make their forecasts accurate. Model for predicting the Academy Awards: entertainers get points for being nominated and for winning other awards this year.
According to the Model FiveThirtyEight Has Predicted Their Winners:
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander or Kate Winslet, but they believe it will most likely be Vikander.
Best Supporting Actor: According to Walt Hickey, of FiveThirtyEight, the model suggests Sylvester Stallone, but his brain thinks Mark Rylance, while is heart believes Mark Ruffalo.
Best Actress: It would be shocking to FiveThirtyEight if Brie Larson lost.
Best Actor: According to Hickey, he will laugh if Leonardo DiCaprio wins or losses, although not as hard if he loses.
Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Best Picture: The Revenant, although FiveThirtyEight would prefer Room to win, they are upset that Carol did not make the nominations.
The 88th Academy Awards will be telecast on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. EST, on ABC.
Opinion by Jeanette Smith
Huffington Post: Powerful African American Leader Backs Motion Picture Academy’s Proposed Changes to Achieve Oscar Diversity
Jezebel: Here Are the Finalized Oscars Picks From FiveThirtyEight
USA Today: Oscars: Four things to know about the show
Image Courtesy of Cliff’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of Kevo Thomson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License