POC Shine At 2021 Oscars


Jenieke Calloway, Writer

After an outcry for diversity at The Oscars this year, the 2021 Oscars left many winners and audiences satisfied at the outcome, especially of POC actors. 

This year POC winners include the following: Nomadland for Best Picture, Yuh-jung Youn in Minari for Actress in a Supporting Role, Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah for Actor in a Supporting Role, Fight For You from Judas and the Black Messiah for Original Song, Soul for Best Animated Feature Film and Original Score, Chloe Zhao, Nomadland for best Director, Ma Rainey’s Blackbottom for best Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling, and finally, Two Distant Strangers for best Live Action Short Film (CNN). 

All these wonderful films, plus more, featured amazing, POC leads and actors that made an impact on their roles and the film itself. However, as David Oliver from USA Today says, “It’s easy to see a list of nominees and winners and marvel at diversity (or scoff at lack of diversity). But it’s more important to listen to the words of underrepresented voices when they’re given the chance to hold the coveted golden statue.”

These nominations would mean nothing without the hard work from POC actors and actresses that went into it, and then call out for unfair treatment towards these people.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ choices this year indicated its diversity efforts behind the scenes might be paying off, which it foreshadowed with its diverse slate of nominees: Nine of the 20 acting nominees were people of color. Time will tell if this was a one-off, given that the coronavirus pandemic led studios to withhold bigger movies that might have made for stiffer competition for nominations,” says David Oliver. And I agree, we will see if it is just a one-time event, or if POC actors and actresses will continue to be awarded for their hard work in these films.