The field of actor and actress nominees is all-white. Would I have loved to see Benicio Del Toro in the current Oscar race for Sicario? Yes. He gave an outstanding performance in that truly fine, action-packed film. But he's not a nominee.
Black and Latina actresses such as Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Angela Bassett, Alfre Woodward, Halle Berry (the first black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar), Gabourey Sidibe, Taraji P. Henson and Rosie Perez had to turn to TV for employment after getting an Oscar nomination because they weren't getting any other good Hollywood script opportunities. Rita Moreno, recent Kennedy Center Honoree and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for film classic, West Side Story, turned to TV and Broadway for work. Hollywood never gave Rita Moreno another big screen movie musical opportunity.
And where are the black film critics on TV who could've brought up these gender and race diversity issues years ago? How come it's only white dudes telling me to go see 12 Years A Slave? Why aren't network and local TV news execs putting black and Latino and Asian film critics on the air? Oy.
Diversity and the Oscars. I tried to call a few white male members of the voting Academy today for comments on this year's non-racially mixed Oscar nominees, but they'd all taken off for the long Dr. Martin Luther King holiday weekend.
If you hear my segment with Scott Simon and are unfamiliar with my TV work, I've reposted a couple of my old demo reels. Here's one with me reviewing and otherwise talking about movies:
Here's a reel of my work as a VH1 talk show host back in the late 1980s.