When is 2015 Academy Awards

Diversity at the Academy Awards: Why It Matters

No matter who wins on Oscar night, the 2015 Academy Awards will be remembered for the stunning lack of diversity in its nominees that spawned the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. For the first time in almost 20 years, there is not a single person of color among the 20 nominations for the four acting categories. Nor did women fare well; for the first time since 1999, men make up all the nominees in the key categories of directing and screenwriting. While there has been much discussion about how this could have happened, for me, it's more important to remember why it matters: seeing diversity at Hollywood's biggest night can inspire young people to believe in their dreams.

I was born in Saigon, Vietnam and am an immigrant to the United States. Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, except for in "Kung Fu Theater" and Bruce Lee martial arts movies, I saw very few Asian faces on my television screen or in movie theaters. Back then, I remember having an interest in the media industry - but pursuing a career in front of the camera did not seem realistic. There was no Asian person I could point to and believe "I can be just like him." Nor did it seem possible back then to even find a steady job in media or entertainment as an Asian American; and if I learned anything from my immigrant parents, it was the importance of getting a reliable job.

Eventually, I chose a career in law - and now practice in the entertainment and digital media fields. It's been a great career (though the legal profession has its own diversity challenges) and I don't regret choosing it. But I often wonder whether my younger self veered away from pursuing other, more creative, roles in the media world - simply because I did not think they were viable options for Asian Americans.

Now as an adult, I realize how self-limiting that was. And after the 2015 Academy Award nominations were announced, I remember why I never want any young person to ever feel such limitations.

See also:
  • how to be motivated to do homework
You might also like
Oscar Predictions 2015 - 87th Academy Awards
Oscar Predictions 2015 - 87th Academy Awards
Academy Awards 2015 - Louise Roe: Stylish Men
Academy Awards 2015 - Louise Roe: Stylish Men
Swara Aka Helly Shah At Indian Television Academy Awards 2015
Swara Aka Helly Shah At Indian Television Academy Awards 2015
Academy Awards Visual Effects Shortlist Reel 2015
Academy Awards Visual Effects Shortlist Reel 2015
Related Posts