If you are behind in your dues, please rejoin. If you would have come to the Gala and bought tickets, paid dues, or made donations, PLEASE do this now to indicate your support of our decision to join the boycott and of our ongoing advocacy of policies you have supported in the past.
Thank you for your support!
SBCAN Executive Director
SBCAN NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release: February 23, 2016
Contact: Ken Hough, [email protected], 805.563.0463
SBCAN cancels Oscars Viewing Gala in support of this year's boycott of the ceremony
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) has joined the boycott of this year’s Oscar ceremony by cancelling its long-running Oscars Viewing Gala that was scheduled for February 28. The SBCAN board of directors hopes that such pressure on the film industry will accelerate the coming of obviously needed change. The board urges Oscars viewers to take a look at the films mentioned below on Oscar night instead of watching the award celebration.
"Many of our members were not comfortable with holding our annual Oscars Viewing Gala given the boycott call by leading African American filmmakers," said Dick Flacks, SBCAN South County Vice President. "Like them, we were very disturbed by the fact that, for the second year in a row, the Academy voters did not nominate qualified black actors, directors and films for Oscars."
"One reason for this may be the fact that the Academy membership is said to be over 90% ‘white male,’ and a large proportion of these members are retired from active filmmaking," Flacks said. "The voting pattern, whether or not due to active bias, has long been an issue, but is especially glaring in recent years because a number of worthy contenders of color (honored by other awards) were passed over. There was much shock and dismay a year ago when David Oyelowo, who played the leading role of Martin Luther King in Selma, failed to be nominated for a lead-actor award."
This time around, such performers as Michael Jordan in Creed and that film’s director and writer, Ryan Coogler, were not nominees. Idris Elba, whose performance in Beast of No Nation has been widely lauded, was passed over. The film, Straight Outta Compton, did get a nomination for a screenplay award, but wasn’t nominated in the best picture or director categories (despite appearing on many ‘10 best’ critical lists). Will Smith’s performance in Concussion was widely acclaimed; he too failed to make the nomination list.
"The Academy has begun steps that may make its voting membership more representative of the active filmmaking community in the future. These steps may produce more positive results than numerous past promises about diversifying the Academy and its awards," Flacks said. "Of course, the most basic source of the skewed composition of Oscar nominations is the fact that the film world itself remains largely a white-male preserve. There are very few black directors and studio executives. That may help explain why minority representation in on-screen roles lags far behind what is now available on television and computer screens. This availability of minority talent undermines claims that the pool of black (or Latino or Asian American) actors is the reason for the absence of such actors in the movies."
SBCAN’s Oscars Viewing Gala has been a community building and fundraising event for well over a decade. The board hopes to resume celebrating and watching more representative Oscars in the future.
SBCAN works to promote social and economic justice, to preserve environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities. For more information about SBCAN, visit www.sbcan.org or call (805) 563-0463.
SBCAN Executive Director