Do You Agree with Idris Elba that the Oscars “Aren’t For Us?”

The 83rd Academy Awards aired last night and amid all the glitz and glamour, there has been some brewing controversy surrounding the “whiteness” of this year’s ceremony.  Upon the announcement of this year’s nominees, many noted that there was an obvious lack of films featuring people of colour.  Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott recently featured and article about this year’s award show in the New York Times titled “Hollywood’s Whiteout.”  In addition to noting the lack of representation of films featuring people of colour, it also chronicled what seems to be a history of exclusion of people of colour in Hollywood.

Actor Idris Elba, who has had success in both TV and film, recently did an interview for the Len’s Project’s “Artist Spotlight” series and expressed his feelings about this year’s Academy Awards “whiteout.”  In the interview he expressed that “Halle Berry and I were the only two black actors nominated for this year’s Golden Globes (Idris for Luther and Halle for Frankie & Alice). The Oscars aren’t designed for us…let’s focus on making more films.”

Is the lack of representation of people of colour at the Academy Awards a systemic issue or is it just a matter of “coincidence?”

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