John Legend & Common’s joint Oscar win last night made for just the 32nd Black Academy Award win in the ceremony’s entire 87-year history. That is a mere 32 out of a possible 2809 (little over 1%), which has seen hordes flock to twitter to express their outrage, coining the hashtag ‘#OscarsSoWhite’.
Unquestionably, this is a huge problem. However, is it really right to direct our discontent at the Academy themselves? In a country where the wealth gap between Caucasian and African-American families lies at approximately $236,000, and an average bachelors degree is estimated to cost over $146,000, does this not simply reflect America’s wider problems and the failure of their social justice system?
The lack of diversity at the Academy Awards is wrong in every way. However, calls for films such as Selma to pick up awards simply because it’ll help even out the demographic undermines the nature of the Oscars themselves. Let’s not use the Academy as a scapegoat to skim over problems that have plagued American society for years, and let’s not compromise its integrity by enforcing diversity for statistics’ sake.