Great Job, Internet!: Read This: The Oscars were #SoWhite long before that popular hashtag

In 1996, there was only one African-American nominee at the Academy Awards out of a total of 166. Her name was Dianne Houston, and she had directed a live-action short film called Tuesday Morning Ride. That was it. Actors like Morgan Freeman and Don Cheadle were overlooked that year in favor of Kevin Spacey and Nicolas Cage. The Oscars and the movie industry in general were so overwhelmingly white that People, normally dismissed as a gossipy lightweight of a magazine, published a damning, thoroughly researched 3,000-word cover story called “Hollywood Blackout.” In a freshly composed piece for The New Republic, writer Esther Breger revisits that 20-year-old People story and the ensuing controversy it created, including an underwhelming protest organized by Jesse Jackson. Hollywood is just as homogeneous today as it was two decades ago, Breger finds. What has changed dramatically in the ensuing 20 years is perception, both on …

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