Early this morning, the 2015 Oscar nominations were revealed in Hollywood, and the first honorees announced were the writers of the song “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie.
Sadly, that jubilant tone quickly turned sour, as a number of surprising snubs has led to accusations that the Academy is tone deaf, out-of-touch, and hopelessly stuck in its white, male ways.
In addition to the Hollywood A-listers who were snubbed (Angelina Jolie for her directing work on Unbroken, Jake Gyllenhaal for his acclaimed performance in Nightcrawler), many of the hopefuls who were not recognized by the Academy were women and people of color whose nominations might have served as much-needed signs of progress.
Director Ava DuVernay was considered by many to be a lock for the civil rights drama Selma. DuVernay would have been the first black woman to be nominated for Best Director. Alas, the old guard reigned supreme and five men were nominated in the category.
Similarly, David Oyelowo’s work as Martin Luther King, Jr. was considered by many critics to be the best performance of the year.
So it came as something of a shock when people of color were entirely shut out of this year’s acting nominations for the first time since 2000.
Other notable snubs include Jennifer Aniston for Cake, Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year, screenwriter Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl, and the lack of a Best Animated Feature nod for The Lego Movie.
Needless to say, a lot of big name stars aren’t flashing their 1,000-watt smiles today, but the Academy’s decision to whitewash this year’s ceremony a year after awarding 12 Years a Slave Best Picture is certainly the biggest bummer of all.
Sadly, it looks as though everything is not as awesome as that lovable song would have us believe.