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There is only one sensible reaction to the Hollywood Reporter's latest cover, and it is to shield your eyes from blinding light. For its November 27th issue, the magazine spoke with eight actresses on equal pay, performing sex scenes, and the difficulties of aging in the industry, and all of them are white.
It immediately brings to mind a recent Vanity Fair cover, which featured the top ten late night hosts on television. All were men, and only two were men of color.
Of course, THR predicted the response it inevitably received, and in anticipation, published a corresponding essay entitled "Why Every Actress on The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Cover Is White." In it, Stephen Galloway tries to blame not The Hollywood Reporter, but instead Hollywood in general:
In doing all that this year, as we prepared for this cover, we discovered precisely ZERO actresses of color in the Oscar conversation — at least in the weeks starting early September when the roundtables are put together, weeks before they take place and months before the nominations are announced January 14.
According to Galloway, it isn't just the Academy's fault, but movie studios's, too:
Yet even for me, a white man, it was impossible to ignore the fact that every one of these women was white — whether old or young, English, Australian or American. That was appalling. The awful truth is that there are no minority actresses in genuine contention for an Oscar this year. Straight Outta Compton, which has provided some great roles for African-American men (and whose success addsproof that studios ignore minority audiences at their peril) had no women leads. Furious 7? Not quite Oscar bait.
One wonders why, exactly, every actress featured in the roundtable necessarily had to be in the running for an Oscar (not to mention that many of the films for which these actresses are said to be Oscar nominees have yet to be released, and therefore their performances can hardly be sufficiently judged), considering equal pay, aging, and performing sex scenes are topics that many talented and diverse actresses could share their experiences on.
Naturally, Twitter wasn't impressed, either:
.@THR "My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone."— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) November 18, 2015
Hollywood remains white not just b/c of the studio heads but publications like @THR who are comfortable going along w/ the status quo.— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) November 18, 2015
Damn you would think Jennifer Lawrence would have tripped her way into some non-white friends by now https://t.co/HWcn3DdFuz— Chai Goth (@Abid_ism) November 18, 2015
Y'all THR knew they were excluding WOC from this wage convo. They had to, or we'd have to talk about white women making more than WOC.— Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) November 18, 2015
The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Sunscreen Commercial https://t.co/LZdoFwkDaY— Jazmine Hughes (@jazzedloon) November 18, 2015
The only thing whiter than the Oscars are @THR roundtables.— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) November 18, 2015