No Indians at the Oscars

Once again, a wonderful, eye-opening article from Indian Country Today. Soooo tired of American Indians being left out of the national conversations…regardless of the subject, we are NOT included. They don’t even include us in their Federal statistics (e.g., unemployment stats) because we’d skew the hell out of their pretty numbers. And in Hollywood, its much, much worse. Read on:

The $5B Erasure of Indians From ‘Oscars So White’

It’s only been a few weeks, but here we go again. J.K. Rowling’s upcoming film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” pilfers “indigenous magic” to the exclusion of all Native participation. Rowling is known for her openness to fan questions but, strangely, not this time – not for a bunch of Redskins.DC Comics(Vertigo) and WGN America are also plowing ahead with “SCALPED,” a live version of their graphic novel (authored by non-Natives) set on an Indian Reservation. There is no indication that Natives will participate in adapting/writing, directing, or producing the show. Haven’t these productions gotten the note yet that diversity is about inclusion and not about hiring a few token darkies to prance around on camera? Actually, none of this is a surprise. “Oscars So White,” J.K. Rowling, and “SCALPED” are all indicative of the artful systemic oppression of American Indians.

Hollywood’s film industry hauled in $38 billion dollars in 2015, television nabbed around copy90 billion, and Broadway’s booty alone (not counting national tours, Off-Broadway, and regional theater) was copy.35 billion. Together, these industries grossed over $230 billion — nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars — and constituted our nation’s 2nd largest export. This does not include new revenue from online media cash cows Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and Youtube. If Native Americans were not erased from these productions and participated in this industry in a way that is reflective of our population, American Indians would have generated $5 billion dollars from mainstream film, television, and theater production. This breaks down to nearly copy0 million dollars for each one of our more than 500 federally recognized tribes. These flicks are not frivolous entertainment. They impact our economy, education systems, laws, medical fields, politics, and criminal justice system.

            Yet Hollywood casting directors and studio executives reject diversity, slander college educations, and turn their media circuses into high school popularity contests. They convince themselves, and the public, that only white celebrities bring in large audiences. Then they use this deception to disqualify minority participation even though several academic studies disprove the myth that “celebrity star power” draws audiences. Powerful talent agencies conjure up false worth for their A-List clients in order to package multimillion dollar deals of trendy actors, directors, producers, and writers – contracts notably void of dark skin people. So what actually does increase ticket sales? Hard working trained individuals solving straight-forward questions about character and story.



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