Author Topic: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS  (Read 3561 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9864
    • View Profile
REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« on: February 24, 2012, 07:33:18 pm »
NPR:

Most Oscar Voters Are White, Male ... Out Of Touch?
February 23, 2012

The Los Angeles Times published a study claiming that more than 90 percent of Oscar voters are white, and more than three-quarters are male. The stats are raising questions about whether minorities and women are getting fair changes of winning awards. Host Michel Martin speaks with Reginald Hudlin, a black voter and film director.
Copyright © 2012 National Public Radio®. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, I want to talk about a different group of people who are also dreaming of a big step up in their careers. The Hollywood hopefuls who will attend the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

This year, there is a new debate about the people who decide who gets one of those golden statues. Just who those voters are has traditionally been kept somewhat under wraps, but the Los Angeles Times recently reported that nearly 94 percent of Academy Award voters are white, 77 percent are male and they have a median age of 62. And that's raising questions about whether the Academy is fully in touch with the American movie-going public and whether it is, in fact, capable of giving a fair shake to women and minorities.

We wanted to talk more about this, so we called filmmaker Reginald Hudlin. He's directed movies, including "House Party" and "Boomerang" and, in recent years, he's directed hit television shows like "Modern Family" and "The Office." He's also one of the few African-Americans who is a voting member of the Academy.

Now, he's currently producing Quentin Tarantino's latest work, "Django Unchained," but he took time out to talk with us from NPR West in Culver City. Thanks so much for joining us. Thanks for taking a break to talk to us at this busy time for you.

REGINALD HUDLIN: Oh, thank you for inviting me.

MARTIN: How exactly do you become a voting member of the Academy?

HUDLIN: Well, a member has to nominate you. I actually don't know who nominated me and I'd like to take this moment to thank whoever threw my hat in the ring because it's wonderful to be a member. It's a wonderful organization to be a member of, to be able to participate in.

MARTIN: Are you surprised by this report? What was your reaction when you saw it?

HUDLIN: I'm not surprised. When you go to Academy memberships, you know, you kind of see the demographic right there and, like a lot of these organizations that have lifetime memberships, whether it's the Oscars or the Grammys or whatever, of course, the majority of voters are older because, you know, once you're in, you're in.

And while I appreciate that there's always a lot of focus on - hey, there's not a lot of ethnic representation around Oscar time - the reality is, you know, those decisions are sort of made a year or two before the Oscars occur.

You know, the challenge is, as one of the governors of the Academy, Phil Alden Robinson, said, you know, the membership of the Academy is made up of working people in the film business and, until that's more diversified, you're not going to have a more diversified Academy membership. So it starts before that.

MARTIN: And, in fact, Frank Pierson, the former Academy - he's a former Academy president. He's an Oscar winner. He was quoted in the L.A. Times report. This is what he said. He said, I don't see any reason why the Academy should represent the entire American population. That's what the People's Choice Awards are for. We represent the professional filmmakers and if that doesn't reflect the general population, so be it.

HUDLIN: Uh-huh.

MARTIN: You agree, disagree?

HUDLIN: I disagree, obviously. I mean, to me, you can't help but notice that the most financially successful Best Picture nominee is "The Help," which features Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, so I think it is in the best interest of the film industry to diversify, and that, you know, whether it's a movie like "The Help" or a movie like "Slumdog Millionaire," you obviously can have incredibly well made films made by black filmmakers, like a fellow Academy member like John Singleton, who was nominated for - many years ago to, you know, actors like Denzel Washington and so on. So the false choice between popular and quality is nonsensical.

MARTIN: We're talking with film director, Reginald Hudlin. He's a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Academy Awards, which is this Sunday. And we're talking about a new report about the lack of diversity in that voting group.

You know, speaking of "The Help," you know, that is one of those things. Is it a Rorschach test? I mean, some people cite "The Help" as an example of why the Academy is not making films for - it's satisfying kind of a certain world view about the role that African-Americans and women should play in this country.

Other people cite it as an example of the success of, you know, diversity because it's bringing a story to life that hasn't been brought before. Can I just ask your take on that?

HUDLIN: Well, I mean, for me, it's - to me, again, these are false choices, to say, you know, "The Help," good or bad? It's not a matter of that. The point is "The Help" should exist and I want to see more films by Casey Lemons, a black woman filmmaker. You know, the challenge is the black art film, the black prestige film is so - you know, it's easier to find bigfoot than to find movies in that category and I think that's where you always end up with this story around Oscar time. Like, oh, how come there aren't more films and more talent in all categories being nominated for Oscars? Because those kind of films aren't getting made.

Typically, black films are made and they're making fewer of them than ever. They are made as inexpensively as possible to make as much money as possible, but even in that sense, they're usually made for domestic audiences. You know, usually, black films aren't given the kind of resources to make a global hit, the kind of - whether it be special effects or scope to, you know, have that kind of global impact. And those are the kind of self-fulfilling prophecies that keep black film perceived as a niche category.

MARTIN: Well, thank you for your perspective on this. As I mentioned, you're right in the middle of another project yourself, so it's good of you to take the time to talk with us and, hopefully, when you get your golden statue, you'll still remember that you knew us when. Right? You'll be giving a shout out from the stage?

HUDLIN: Maybe.

MARTIN: I want to thank my friends from NPR who talked about us, but - all right. Reginald Hudlin is a - maybe not - is a director, writer, producer and occasionally an actor and he is also a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and we've been talking about the lack of diversity in that group and a new report about that.

Reginald Hudlin, thank you so much for joining us.

HUDLIN: Thank you. Thank you for having me.


Offline Hypestyle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 5821
  • Intellectual Conqueror
    • View Profile
    • Hypestyle's Homebase
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 08:52:14 pm »
I vote for Mr. Reggie to produce next year's show!  I'm sure he can get Eddie to host..  I'll email the Academy..
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 08:56:27 pm by Hypestyle »
Be Kind to Someone Today.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 8792
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 07:59:50 am »

Offline michaelintp

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1275
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 12:00:59 am »
Battle, I gotta tell ya, I love the cartoons you post. So "on point." (Even the "political" ones crack me up, even when I disagree, and I certainly DON'T disagree with this one).

And yes, more and more, I'm feeling like Netflix is the way to go. Except for my free screenings, of course. My biggest beef with the theaters is the "rip off" for 3-D. Where, honestly, most so-called 3-D movies suck (as they were filmed in 2-D and given some stupid ineffective 3-D job at the last minute by some tech company).

And of course, on the substance, I posted the good L.A. Times article that is referenced before I realized Reginald was interviewed.
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 8792
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 07:24:06 am »
Battle, I gotta tell ya, I love the cartoons you post. So "on point." (Even the "political" ones crack me up, even when I disagree, and I certainly DON'T disagree with this one).

And yes, more and more, I'm feeling like Netflix is the way to go. Except for my free screenings, of course. My biggest beef with the theaters is the "rip off" for 3-D. Where, honestly, most so-called 3-D movies suck (as they were filmed in 2-D and given some stupid ineffective 3-D job at the last minute by some tech company).





I used to clip and stack political cartoons from the newspapers as far back as 1983 when Bay Rigby (and his father Rigby whose first name I can't remember) was drawing for the NEW YORK POST and  his father Rigby whose first name I can't remember, DAILY NEWS in NY because I thought the artists were really clever in thier interpretation of politics, current news, sports  and entertainment.
There's an opportunity to get back into it by displaying some of the current artists I see in the papers today through HEF.  The really, REALLY clever political cartoons are the animated pieces I saw on  The New Yorker website.



EDITED FOR CLARITY
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 05:04:02 am by Battle »

Offline Kristopher

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1229
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 07:48:31 am »


Damn! My daughter wanted to see Transformers in 3D last year, I paid almost $60.00 for three people(tickets, popcorn, drinks)!!!!!! I could hear everybody in the cinema munching popcorn and loudly shoving straws into their soda cup tops. As Danny Glover said in the Lethal Weapon movies "I'm gettin' too old for this s#%t!"

Offline michaelintp

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1275
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 08:21:36 pm »
Kristopher, I soooo hear you.
Battle, I too kept a scrap book of politcal cartoons, though mine were from the late 1960s, with a lot of anti-Vietnam things. Also have a great book of political cartoons by Ron Cobb. Look him up on Google. His style influenced my own cartoons.
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9864
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 09:11:29 am »
Kristopher, I soooo hear you.
Battle, I too kept a scrap book of politcal cartoons, though mine were from the late 1960s, with a lot of anti-Vietnam things. Also have a great book of political cartoons by Ron Cobb. Look him up on Google. His style influenced my own cartoons.

Whoa!

You are a cartoonist too?  And we never knew this?

And you were anti-Viet Nam?

Offline michaelintp

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1275
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 09:40:01 pm »
Oh, sure, did cartoons before I attempted any "serious" art.  As to politics, I've been all over the place. My college study of economics and business did influence my thinking; I've also been involed in humanitarian and human rights matters, as you know.

Ron Cobb's cartoons were awesome. With a search on Google Images for "Ron Cobb Cartoons" revealing many. Here is one example, which you have to view through the lense of the 1960s:

The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline BmoreAkuma

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 2235
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 08:25:09 am »



I have to admit that is impressive. Since I'm not a 60s baby I have no idea what he is trying say.
With these choices, I felt that the American black man only needed to choose which one to get eaten by; the liberal fox or the conservative wolf because both of them will eat him.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 8792
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2012, 12:21:27 pm »
I have to admit that is impressive. Since I'm not a 60s baby I have no idea what he is trying say.



I'm still tryin' to figure the drawing out myself...

At first, I thought the image had something to do with the moon and maybe the TV viewers couldn't tune in...? ???  The moon landing was one of the biggest media events (amongst others) known in the 1960s that I'm aware of.

 

Something to do with the lack of diversity at the Oscars...?


¯\_(ツ)_/¯
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 01:38:27 pm by Battle »

Offline michaelintp

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1275
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 06:53:25 am »
The image is of a destroyed city (presumably) after a nuclear holocaust. The lone survivor is pictured. It is a comment on what we've become, in terms of our priorities. Though, not really "us." Rather, "them." More precisely, what the uptight-out-of-touch-narrow-minded-empty-headed-conservative-straight establishment types were all about. I don't believe Cobb viewed himself as the wandering guy in shock trying to find a place to plug in the broken TV, haha. Still, I always found this cartoon to be amusing.

Does have to do with the media. Kinda, sorta. So do the Oscars. But yes, this is a complete digression, haha. Oh, but maybe you are right, Battle. Cobb was trying to portray the typical Oscar voter. ::)
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 8792
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 11:32:45 am »
But yes, this is a complete digression, haha. Oh, but maybe you are right, Battle. Cobb was trying to portray the typical Oscar voter. ::)


*sigh*

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9864
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2012, 11:34:16 am »
Right, that cartoon was from the era when people were still outraged by the ubiquity of media, before we as a culture completely gave into the matrix.

Offline michaelintp

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1275
    • View Profile
Re: REGGIE ON NPR DISCUSSING LACK OF DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2012, 12:37:08 pm »
Hmmmmm.  Then vs now.  Interesting insight. 
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6