April Reign's #OscarSoWhite Spotlights Hollywood's Lack Of Diversity | WYPR

April Reign's #OscarSoWhite Spotlights Hollywood's Lack Of Diversity

Feb 26, 2016

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Last year, when the 2015 Oscar nominations in the acting categories included not a single person of color, April Reign got mad. But the Howard County resident, former attorney and now managing editor of Broadway Black.com, did more than just fume about the Academy Awards' racial shutout.  She created the Twitter hashtag #OscarSoWhite, and tapped into a deep national well of resentment at Hollywood's persistent bias toward white talent.  Many critics expressed dismay, for example, that while the MLK biopic, Selma, was nominated for Best Picture, its African-American director Ava DuVernay and its black lead actor, David Oyelowo, were not recognized. Despite relentless criticism and protests, however, this year’s Oscar nominations were no different. Not a single actor of color was nominated for lead or supporting roles, and one of the year's biggest critical and box office hits, Straight Outta Compton, was also missing from best picture and best director nods.  These latest Oscar snubs have sparked even more buzz around the #OscarSoWhite hashtag, led to plans for a boycott of the February 28th Oscar ceremony, and intensified the national conversation about Hollywood's troubling lack of diversity.  April Reign joins Tom in the studio to discuss her role in that conversation, and the change she hopes it can achieve.