Racism Reaches Oscar: A Continuous Issue On American Entertainment

The creator of #OscarsSoWhite is stimulated by the diversity of this awards season, with films like "Hidden Figures," "Fences" and "Moonlight" being recognized. However, Reign wants the performing arts to expand its portrayal beyond just African-Americans.

"What I've been seeing, inopportunely, in the media quite a bit, is because we've had an appreciation of black artists and filmmakers this year, that #OscarsSoWhite is someway over," she told CNN. "There's been a scarcity of nominations and support of people from other customarily under-represented societies."

Oscars Must Get A Diverse Lineup Of Nominees

Reign, managing editor for Broadway Black, developed the hashtag since January 2015, after being irritated by the lack of diversity among the year's Oscar nominees.

"With respect to cultural arrogation, I think the Asian American and Pacific Islander civic has taken a step back in 2016," Reign added. "We see 'Ghost In The Shell' with Scarlett Johansson [Johannson was cast in a role of an Asian character], and 'The Great Wall' with Matt Damon [Damon's film has been reproached for the 'white savior' image in a film about China's Great Wall] where there is no culture and genre respect."

Reign claims that good anecdote -- with good writing and A-list acting -- will win out in Hollywood, no matter what color or race you're in. She said she is the inspiration to be more diverse in this industry.

Television shows like "Atlanta," "Insecure" and "Black-ish" are winning both critical acclaim and strong fan bases votes. These and other projects add up to "an entry of entertainment that reflects the black experience," Reign said."I use that phrase deliberately, as opposed to saying 'black film' or 'black TV show,' because we have a monstrosity like 'Empire' that is killing the ratings every week and it's not just black folks who are watching that show, obviously," she said. "What does a 'black TV show' mean?' 'Empire' is about a debilitated family in the music industry that just happens to be black."

The Golden Age Of Black Television

A recent Nielsen study found that "several agendas with a predominantly black cast or the main storyline focusing on a black character are drawing considerable to non-black viewership."

"While this isn't the first in TV history that a black lead a vital role that has drawn non-black audiences -- think of "The Jeffersons," "Sanford and Son" and "The Cosby Show" -- what's uncommon now is the sheer number of such programs that are carrying cross-cultural demand," the study said.

"audiences and start conversations," said Andrew McCaskill, senior vice president, Communications and Multicultural Marketing, at Nielsen. "That insight is important for culture and content creators." As for the upcoming #OscarsSoWhite, Reign has confidence in that there is still work to be done.

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