A new study from USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism shows how white Hollywood is on the heels of #OscarsSoWhite, the social-media led criticism of the 2016 Academy Award nominations, which feature no black actors.
Among the study's findings are that 28.3 percent of characters with dialogue were from non-white racial/ethnic groups, though such groups are nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population.
The problem, study author Stacy L. Smith said, lies in a movie industry still largely closed off for minorities artists.
“The prequel to #OscarsSoWhite is #HollywoodSoWhite,” Smith was quoted in Time Magazine. “We don’t have a diversity problem. We have an inclusion crisis.”
Smith's statements echo a wave of criticism following the nominations, where many have cited that the academy alone is not to blame for Hollywood's lack of diversity.
At the academy's nominees luncheon, "Bridge of Spies" screenwriter Matt Charman said writers needed to step up and write more parts for minority players.
"If the buck stops with the academy, it starts with us, the writers,” Charman told the L.A. Times. “We need to do better.”
In an armchair debate between the New York Times' top critics about diversity, movie critic A.O. Scott said that diversity is a widespread problem extending far beyond Hollywood — including in his own industry.
"For the news media to call out Hollywood’s lack of diversity is a bit like the pot calling the kettle … um, yeah, never mind," Scott wrote.
Walking into this fracas is this year's Oscars host, Chris Rock, whose comedy often centers on race tensions. While hired in the hopes of winning back some of the Oscar ceremony's lost African-American audience in recent years, Rock may prove to be a wild card on Oscars night.
"So much depends on Mr. Rock," the New York Times mused, "who is not known for diplomacy."