Local actors weigh in on the lack of diversity at the Oscars

02 February 2020 - 00:00 By Sanet Oberholzer and Tymon Smith
Local stars share their thoughts on the controversy around diversity at the Oscars.
Local stars share their thoughts on the controversy around diversity at the Oscars.
Image: ANGELA WEISS/AFP

It’s Academy Awards season again and it comes with its usual issues of the lack of inclusivity and diversity.

This year only one person of colour, actress Cynthia Erivo, has been nominated in any of the Oscars' traditionally coveted major categories. And while director Greta Gerwig's much acclaimed adaptation of Little Women earned a Best Picture nod, Gerwig was still denied a Best Director nomination.

Not to mention the fact that several significant films by a variety of non-white, non-male filmmakers were completely ignored.

We asked local stars to weigh in on the debate:

CLEMENTINE MOSIMANE

Mosimane is the star of 'Poppy Nongena'

Because of our history of apartheid we know where we come from and we have been very open in trying to right some of the wrongs. America seems to sweep everything under the carpet; they sugar-coat everything and so they still have to go through a healing process to try and ameliorate parts of their history.

America would like to come across as a country that doesn't have racial tensions but colour is still a big issue there. Meanwhile there are so many African (and black) stories to tell.

ROLANDA MARAIS

Marais recently appeared in Deon Meyer's series, 'Trackers'

The majority of those who can vote for the Oscars are long-time retirees by this point. They have no stake in the industry and are not necessarily part of the Zeitgeist. This voter imbalance is clear from recent winners and nominees.

SIV NGESI

Ngesi starred in the 2019 crime drama 'Knuckle City', which was in the running for an oscar nomination but didn't make it

It's been so competitive. I love the films that were nominated. I've seen most of them and they're incredible. I'll keep creating great content and hopefully one day we'll win another Oscar for South Africa.

• This year's Oscars ceremony takes place on Monday, February 10, in Los Angeles.


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