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TRACY: Issues arise from Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations

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A new year brings yet another round of awards focused on what was the best in the previous year. The point of these award shows is to see how people can react from the winners, the hosts and the nominees that were snubbed.

Ricky Gervais, the host of the Golden Globes this year, spent most of his time making cheap jokes at the network’s expense, thinking he’s the best around when the “UK Office” and finale of “Extras” are the only worthwhile pieces he’s made in his entire career.

The content receiving awards were pretty questionable. “Mozart in the Jungle” is terrific on its own terms as a musical slice of life dramedy, but when you’re in the same category as shows like “Silicon Valley,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Transparent” and “Veep,” it was the weakest of the bunch.  The other shows are changing the way comedy can be while Mozart is simply having fun. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it’s not worth giving out accolades to it either.

“The Martian” nominated for a best comedy/musical award when it was neither category was the icing on top of a three-hour train wreck to behold. A common belief is that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) only picks the newest content as the “best” show or movie from the previous year only grows stronger with each ceremony. At this point, the Golden Globes shouldn’t be taken seriously, it’s merely an opportunity for NBC to get people to watch the network and promote its midseason schedule.

A couple of weeks later, the Academy Awards nominations were announced. Yet again, it’s another year where there is a severe lack in diversity. The Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs was right in saying it was a great year in film, so then why is there a lack of ethnicities represented in the nominations?

No nominations for “Creed” other than Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. Nothing for Netflix’s excellent Cary Joji Fukunga movie “Beasts of No Nation,” and the only thing “Straight Outta Compton” is getting a nomination for is best screenplay.  This is straight up embarrassing for Hollywood.

For the second year in a row and the third time since 1998 all the acting nominees are of Caucasian descent. It is as if they’ve learned nothing from last year’s event.  High profile actors like Will Smith, George Clooney, Danny Devito and Lena Dunham have spoken out, going as far as boycotting the ceremony or tuning in live on the night of the event. This should be an exciting night for the industry as more and more stories about diversity are created, but with no nominations from the Academy acknowledging their existence it is incredibly upsetting.  Either expand the categories to receive more submissions or think very carefully about the performances given in each film.

At least they are acknowledging that there is a problem by offering more people to join and changing the way the rights to voting work, but they’re barely even doing that. The new effects the Academy wants for expanding its membership and voting will not occur until 2020. The effects include changing life time status of being a board member after serving for 30 years, and while that’s a step in the right direction, we need change now so an “Oscars So White” hashtag never happens again.

In addition to the problems in diversity, a lot of other movies have received the bare minimum for a chance to win. Charlie Kaufman’s long awaited return to cinema, “Anomalisa” receives nothing more than a best-animated picture despite multiple critics at HitFix and Rolling Stone praising it for its originality and acting from the three main lead actors. Michael B. Jordan received nothing for Creed, despite having it be one of the most acclaimed films of last year and making the Rocky franchise receive new life.

The Academy Awards used to mean something for celebrating great films over the previous year, and they could still mean something if they fix what’s going on. The Golden Globes are done for as far as credibility goes, it’s a telemarketer’s scam phone call at this point. Hopefully by the time the next ceremony’s nominations comes out there will be a better representation of people in Hollywood receiving a best actor award.

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