BLACK VOICES

Hollywood's Diversity Problem Doesn't Get More Obvious Than This

"As we prepared for this cover, we discovered precisely zero actresses of color in the Oscar conversation... That was appalling."

From Ava DuVernay to Salma Hayek to Michelle Yeoh, there's no shortage of talented women of color in Hollywood -- which is why the latest cover of The Hollywood Reporter is sticking out like a sore thumb. 

The lack of diversity was so obvious, the magazine couldn't help but address it with an essay titled "Why Every Actress on The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Cover Is White." 

Each year the magazine picks actresses from the big and small screen who are likely to be contenders for shiny statues come awards season. 

While praising the eight critically-acclaimed women chosen for this year's roundtable, THR Executive Editor Stephen Galloway noted that "even for me, a white man, it was impossible to ignore the fact that every one of these women was white"

"That was appalling," Galloway said, before laying out "the awful truth":

"[T]here are no minority actresses in genuine contention for an Oscar this year." 

Galloway owned up a little bit to being part of the problem, voicing his regret for passing over "Straight Outta Compton" director F. Gary Gray for the THR directors roundtable, but laid most of the blame on the industry at large. 

"The Academy drew flak for failing to nominate Selma in many categories; but the Academy doesn’t make films, any more than The Hollywood Reporter does; it recognizes work that the industry creates."

Galloway later spoke with The Huffington Post by phone and said he was surprised by the buzz around his essay, and that he was compelled to write it because he feels passionately about the issue of diversity and representation in Hollywood. 

"The problem is not just who is being cast, it’s what movies are being made," Galloway told HuffPost. "If I knew the column would have gotten this response, I would have added the statistics: I would have gone to each studio and said ‘How many people of color are in your executive suites? How many people are on your development team?'"

Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner Viola Davis addressed the issue in her acceptance speech in September when she said, "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You can not win an Emmy for roles that simply are not there."

Janice Min, Chief Creative Officer for THR's parent group tried calling attention to previous covers that were slightly more representative (at least of black actors, though they drew more than once from the Viola Davis-Octavia Spencer well).

After last year's very white Oscars were the least diverse since 1998, this year's batch of contenders isn't shaping up to be much more representative.

When it comes to celebrating the wide range of diversity and talent in film, Hollywood still has a long way to go.  

- 7 -

The number of black women who have won an Academy Award--ever

Hattie McDaniel in 1939; Whoopi Goldberg in 1990; Halle Berry in 2001; Jennifer Hudson in 2006; Mo'Nique, 2009; Octavia Spencer, 2011, Lupita Nyong'o, 2013

- 1 -

The number of black women who have won for a leading role

Halle Berry for "Monsters Ball" (2001)

- 0 -

The number of black female directors ever nominated for an Academy Award. 

This post has been updated with comments from Stephen Galloway.

Also on HuffPost:

  • 1 When She Made It Clear How Actors Can Stop Perpetuating Stereotypes
    <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gina-rodriguez-stereotypes_n_7464080">Roundtable</a>&nbsp;with The Hollywood Reporter
    Getty
    Roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter
  • 2 When She Practiced What She Preached And Waited For An Opportunity Like “Jane The Virgin.”
    <span style="color: #333333;"><span>"</span></span><span>There were times when I was like, 'Why am I pulled so strongly to be
    The CW
    "There were times when I was like, 'Why am I pulled so strongly to be a voice, to not keep my mouth shut? Why can’t I just keep my mouth shut, take the job, take the money and walk like everyone else?', Rodriguez told The Huffington Post.  "[But] if I don’t speak up, I’m just going to what? Sit around and complain and hope that somebody else will?," she added. "No. I wasn’t raised like that. If I want change, then I've got to do it. And if I want to do it, I've got to be that change. And that takes sacrifices that sometimes don’t pay the bills, you know? And I’m OK with that."     
  • 3 When She Spoke Her Mind About The Need For Diversity Before “Jane The Virgin” Even Premiered
    <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/jarettwieselman/gina-rodriguez-latina-speech-jane-the-virgin#.jooX7VMwR">Interview</a>&nbsp;
    Getty
    Interview at the Television Critics Association in June 2014 
  • 4 When She Told A Childhood Story That Really Drove That Point Home
    <span style="color: #333333;">&ldquo;I asked [my mom], &lsquo;When were Puerto Ricans born? When did Puerto Ricans come about
    Jason Merritt/Getty Images
    “I asked [my mom], ‘When were Puerto Ricans born? When did Puerto Ricans come about?'," Rodriguez said at P&G's "Orgullosa" event. "And she’s like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I was like, ‘Like when did it happen, was it in like the '50s?’ And she was like, ‘What are you saying?!’ And I was like, ‘Well because I don’t see us anywhere. I don’t see us on the TV, I don’t see us in the movies I love. When did it happen?!’ And she’s like, ‘We’ve always been around and you will tell those stories one day.’”
  • 5 When She Became Only The Second Latina To Win A Golden Globe For Best Actress And Brought Up Diversity During Her Acceptance Speech
    Read more of&nbsp;her awesome&nbsp;<a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gina-rodriguez-best-actress-tv-comedy_n_6425842">G
    Getty Images
    Read more of her awesome Golden Globe speech here
  • 6 When She Spoke About How TV Representation Can Affect Body Image
    <span><span style="color: #333333;">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not only about my ethnicity; it made me feel a certain way about my bea
    The CW
    “It’s not only about my ethnicity; it made me feel a certain way about my beauty,” she told Glam Belleza Latina. “Not seeing a woman like me as a lead made me feel like I’d never be skinny enough, I’d never be pretty enough. I want to give young girls, like my niece, the tools to see a billboard and think, 'That [non-Latina] girl is beautiful, but that’s not the only form of beauty.' Jane’s story is about a beautiful, normal girl. We don’t talk about her weight or her looks.”
  • 7 When She Gave A Shout Out To “JTV” Showrunner Jennie Urman For Setting An Example When It Comes To Latino Representation
    Read more of her i<a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gina-rodriguez-jane-the-virgin_n_6878586">nterview</a>&nbsp;with Th
    Getty
    Read more of her interview with The Huffington Post
  • 8 When She Pointed Out That If Money Talks In Hollywood, Latinos Shouldn’t Be Silenced
    <span style="color: #333333;font-style: normal;text-decoration: none;">&ldquo;We just have to understand our collective stren
    Rich Polk via Getty Images
    “We just have to understand our collective strength,” Rodriguez told Glam Belleza Latina. “Because if 'Jane the Virgin' does well, [Hollywood] is going to open the door for five new shows that are Latino focused. We’ve already seen this start to happen. 'Jane the Virgin' got a Golden Globe, and this pilot season everybody wants a Latino lead... The more we show them that our united front can blow something up, the more they’re going to open those doors because it’s no longer a risk. This isn’t about racism. It’s about money.”
  • 9 When She Says It's Her Mission To Change The Perception Of Minorities In The Media
    <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gina-rodriguez-minorities-in-the-media_n_7109398">Interview</a>&nbsp;with HuffPost Li
    Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images
    Interview with HuffPost Live. More on her mission in this interview with The Huffington Post. 
CONVERSATIONS