Oscars too white and too straight

In 2015 April Reign started the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite on the social media site X, formerly (and currently) known as Twitter. The hashtag was intended to draw attention to the lack of racial diversity among Oscar winners and nominees.

“#OscarsSoWhite they asked to touch my hair,” wrote Reign. The tweet started trending and soon many other people started using the hashtag to mock Hollywood and point out various examples of racism in the film industry.

If I might riff off of Reign’s hashtag, I would say, “OscarsSoStraight, they’ve started multiple forest fires with all their gender reveal parties.”

With that said, the Oscars do have a problem when it comes to giving awards to either people of color or queer filmmakers.

While there has been progress, this problem was still present during the 2024 Oscars.

For example, while it is possible to justify Emma Stone’s win over Lily Gladstone in the best actress category, it doesn’t change the fact that only two women of color have won best actress in a leading performance ever.

A Lily Gladstone win would have also been nice to see, given Gladstone uses they/them pronouns. Although I haven’t found anything where they specifically identify as non-binary, Gladstone has spoken out about why they use they/them pronouns.

“I remember being 9 years old and just being a little disheartened, seeing how often a lot of my boy cousins were misgendered because they wore their hair long,” Gladstone told The Hollywood Reporter. “It happens to a lot of kids, I think, especially Native boys leaving a community where long hair is celebrated [and then] just kind of getting teased for it. So I remember back then being like, everybody should just be they.”

Thus far, there has never been an openly gay man to win Best Actor, a fact Ian McKellen testified to when he was nominated in 1999.

“No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance,” Ian McKellen remarked at the time.

In other words, “#OscarsSoStraight, their stud finder has its own man cave.”

Furthermore, there has never been a Black director who has won Best Director. Nor is the list of out LGBTQ directors who have won Best Director all that lengthy either. According to Wikipedia, the last time an out gay director won was in 1969 when John Schlesinger won for directing Midnight Cowboy.

I personally have never cared much for the Oscars, despite considering myself a film buff for years. I remember seeing films like “The Hours” and “Brokeback Mountain” be nominated only to lose on awards night.

#OscarsSoStraight, they seem to think the only reason to include lesbians in a story is to have hot lesbian sex scenes.

There are a lot of problems when it comes to diversity in film and awards shows. From able-bodied actors playing disabled characters or cisgender actors playing transgender characters to white actors playing people of color. Yeah there’s a pattern there.

Someone also needs to tell the Academy that it’s okay to nominate more than one woman for Best Director per year.

#OscarsSoStraight, they think the film “Cruising” is about drag races and that drag races involve actual cars.

Like I said, things are slowly changing. Maybe someday, they’ll have to make a hashtag to highlight the lack of diversity in the institution. #OscarsSoDiverse sounds like a nice problem to have. Maybe that will finally make me interested in them.

Write to Jeremy Redlien at

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