SFA theatre students weigh in on #OscarsSoWhite

SFA theatre students weigh in on #OscarsSoWhite

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When the nominees for the 2016 Oscars were announced, only white actors and actresses were among the chosen few selected. As a result social media exploded with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

"The Academy is just a hot mess," said Erik Freels-Vargas, an Stephen F. Austin State University theatre student.

Some are calling it a white out. For the second year in a row the Academy Awards has nominated only Caucasian actors and actresses.

This wasn't a complete surprise to some who believe many African American actors were robbed of their nominations.

 "You can't be surprised at something you expect," said Dominique Rider, an SFA theatre student said. "This was something in the back of my mind. Even though I think I saw a lot of great movies this year, I was like the Academy is probably going to end up being just like it was last year. That's why Oscars so white is back again."

The Oscars so white hashtag took social media by storm. Even Hollywood actress Jada Pinkett Smith, and film maker Spike Lee said they will not attend this year's award show due to the lack of diversity.

Some SFA theatre students believe the lack of diversity in Hollywood is disappointing.

"It's unfair, and it is a little discouraging, but I don't think it ultimately takes away from what we're doing here, or anything we're working towards," said Jonee Lewis, an SFA senior theatre student.

"It's a thing we like to talk about but a lot of people don't necessarily know what they're talking about," Freels-vargas said.

After talk about boycotting the Oscars became a trending topic, actress Stacey Dash made this comment, "We have to make up our minds, either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don't want segregation then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET awards."

However, some SFA students disagree.

"If anything, I think it's going to take away the little opportunities that African-American actors, Latino American actors, and Asian American actors, have," Freels-Vargas said.

"All of these things were made because there was no place for us anywhere else," Rider said. "When there isn't a space for you what do you do? You create a space for yourself, a space where you can be recognized. You create a space where people can appreciate the art you're making."

If you're interested in entering the Hollywood industry, some actors said the lack of diversity is something you should mentally prepare yourself for.

"You have to understand that you are working in an industry that does not cater toward you," Freels-Vargas said. "You are at a disadvantage from the beginning. It's a difficult thing to accept."

As early as next week, the Academy is expected to announce, new measures aimed at making its Oscar choices more diverse.

You can catch the Oscars on ABC on February 28th starting at 6 p.m.

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