“One thing that has
become apparent to us as we look at this stuff, it seems that the TV Academy
has embraced what’s happening in the Trans movement with Transparent and Orange
is the New Black,” Mark Duplass told Varietywhen it launched an Oscar
campaign for Taylor and her co-star Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. “We feel that the
film Academy is a little behind on that front.”
As for gay nominees, Lily Tomlin (Grandma) and Sarah Paulson (Carol)
were also overlooked while filmmaker Todd Haynes, who was thought to be a
shoe-in for Carol, was snubbed in the
directing category. The film also failed to get nominated for Best Picture,
which it was largely considered to be a lock for.
MORE: Jay Duplass Explains Why the 'Tangerine' Oscar Campaign Matters
“Of course it's disappointing,” Academy President Cheryl
Boone Isaacs told ET on Thursday. “[There were] a lot of tremendously good films.
There's Straight Outta Compton, Concussion, Creed, [2014’s] Dear White
People, Dope, OK? I hope this
isn't discouraging for anybody and for filmmakers in particular. You just keep
moving along. You keep out there. We will keep out there. We will keep pushing
that pedal. We're going to keep pushing it.”
Despite efforts to diversify, the demographic makeup of the
Film Academy is still predominantly older white men, and admission to become a
voting member of the Academy requires a personal recommendation from a current
member. Hollywood is notoriously an old boys club, and according to the Los Angeles Times, the makeup of eligible voters is
mostly white (94 percent) men (77 percent) with an average age of 62.
MORE: David Oyelowo on Oscars' Lack of Diversity: 'We're Just Going to Keep Plugging Away'
Color of Change, a civil rights group, immediately called out Isaacs and the Academy for its largely white membership,
which many believe has led to the lack of diverse nominations in the past.
“We would like to acknowledge and congratulate the
filmmakers behind Straight Outta Compton
and What Happened, Miss Simone who
picked up nods in Best Original Screenplay and Featured Documentary,
respectively. But as we all saw today, the Academy continues to have a problem
-- and the integrity and legitimacy of AMPAS is at stake if they don’t come up
with any answers,” Executive Director Rashad Robinson said in a statement. “It
just doesn't make sense that in a country where well over a third of the
population are people of color, our art and innovation continues to be ignored
by the Academy even as we make billions for their members. Though we commend Isaacs for finally admitting that there needs to be a diversity
initiative -- something she denied this time last year -- there are clear
loopholes in the process that without a sound plan will continue to yield the
same results year after year.”