So if Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls doesn’t turn out to be the Oscar contender its release date suggests it could be, this year’s Academy Awards are going to be extremely white. The Hollywood Reporter points out that for the first time in ten years, it’s looking like African-Americans could be entirely excluded from the four major acting categories, and you only need to check out our Oscar Futures for confirmation. As opposed to last year, the year of Precious, this year's front-runners — Natalie Portman, Colin Firth — are white; their closest competition — Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall — is white; and there are almost no films, other than For Colored Girls, on the horizon that seem likely to change this. If For Colored Girls does get recognized, it’s likely the cast, which includes Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, and Thandie Newton, would be nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category — in recent years, the Oscars most reliably diverse category. (Since 2005, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Hudson, Ruby Dee, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Monique, and Rinko Kikuchi have all been nominees.) And of course, should one of the For Colored Girls cast members be nominated, the Academy Awards will still be very, very white — maybe just not very, very, very white. Baby steps?
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